Not only is Malcolm Moore the first prep hitter I’ve profiled in this series, he’s the first prep player period — something 2012 me could never fathom. Anyway, here’s more on the hard-hitting prep catcher.
- Peyton Graham (June 15)
- Drew Gilbert (June 21)
- Ryan Cermak (June 22)
- Thomas Harrington (June 27)
- Peyton Pallette (June 28)
- Landon Sims (June 29)
6’2, 210 pounds
DOB: July 31, 2003
Slot recommended bonus (No. 29): $1,950,900
Note: All information of draft prospects compiled from Internet sources, scouting reports and videos.
The track record of 1st-round prep catchers has been rocky at best. I know the Dodgers’ first selection is the first pick of the second round, but just roll with this.
Since the 2012 draft, teams have selected 13 high school backstops in the first round or supplemental first. While three of the 13 have been taken in the last two drafts (Tyler Soderstrom, 2020, and Harry Ford and Joe Mack, 2021), only two of the other 10 have even made it to The Show — Reese McGuire and Nick Ciuffo. The best prep catcher to be draft in the first round in this millennium is Joe Mauer, who went No. 1 overall to Minnesota in 2001. The next-best player who fits that criterion is Neil Walker, who ended up playing 168 games behind the dish … in the minors. He ended up mostly playing second base in the majors. After all that, why am I interested in Moore for the Dodgers’ selection at No. 40? Because the dude can hit.
Moore is nearly a carbon copy of Soderstrom, whom the A’s selected at No. 26 — and who I had on my final Big Board that year at No. 3. Moore has a smooth, naturally lofty swing that should translate to over-the-fence pop. He loads and keeps his weight back before he brings his quick hands through the zone to generate some of the best raw power of the entire high school crop. He’s able to hit to all fields with authority and is as advanced a prep hitter as there is in this draft.
Defensively, there are legitimate questions as to whether he’s going to stick at catcher. He’s athletic and physical enough to handle the rigors of catching, but his footwork isn’t the best, which hurts his throwing. Because he has a fringy arm, he’ll need to clean things up if he’s going to have a realistic shot to remain at catcher. He has enough bat to play anywhere on the field, but he could end up in a corner (1B, 3B, LF) if he has to move off catcher. As one would expect, he’s a below-average runner, but he’s not going to make it to the majors based on his speed.
Other than the stigma about 1st-round catchers and ultimate defensive home questions — not insignificant factors — Moore has all the makings of a 1st-rounder. He’s also a bit old for his class (19 two weeks after the draft), which doesn’t play in his favor. There’s a chance the Dodgers’ nearly $2 million recommended bonus amount might not be enough to keep him from his commitment to Stanford. But the kid can hit and the thought of the Dodgers’ player developmental department getting its hands on him is enough to make him worth the risk.