Welcome to the M’s Organization, Nick Neidert and Andrew Moore
The M’s had two selections in today’s first phase of the Rule 4 amateur draft. They’d forfeited their first-rounder when they signed Nelson Cruz, so the M’s had to wait until pick 60 to tab high-school right-hander Nick Neidert. A while later, at pick 72, they selected Oregon State righty Andrew Moore.
Neidert throws hard, and has a low-ish arm slot. The low release point is less due to angle than his drop-and-drive motion. He’s flashed mid-90s heat at times, touching 95-96 late in 2014, and looked to be climbing the board in the spring, but a bout of elbow tendinitis scared some teams off. Coupled with minor size concerns (he’s somewhat slight, and listed at 6’1″ but BA had him at 6′ even, 165lbs), the durability worries essentially write themselves, but then, it’s never been clear that size or build is a predictor of health. MLB.com has some <a href="http://m.mlb.com/sea/video/v84134783/draft-report-nick-neidert-hs-pitcher” target=”_blank”>video of him here. Fangraphs prospect guy Kiley McDaniel saw him as well in November of 2014 right when his stock was taking off. See his write-up here, and check out McDaniel’s video of him as well. Neidert was BaseballAmerica’s #55 prospect.
Moore is even smaller than Neidert – he’s listed at 5’11”, so chalk one up for Kiley McDaniel’s Black Swan Theory. In 16 starts this year, Moore threw 122 IP, striking out 111 and walking just 21. While Moore has a similar “drop” in his delivery, the rest of his throwing motion is nothing like Neidert’s. Moore extends his arm further back and then comes right over the top. His raw stuff may be ranked behind Neidert and the pitchers who went ahead of him, but Moore gets universal praise for his poise, competitiveness and command. That command got him called up to Team USA’s 2014 collegiate squad alongside early 1st-rounders like Dansby Swanson, Carson Fulmer, Alex Bregman and Kyle Funkhouser. Moore typically works in the high-80s, touching the 90s occasionally. He’s got a change-up and slider as well. When those secondary pitches are on, as they were this season and two years ago in his freshman year, Moore’s really tough. When they’re not, like his sophomore campaign, his fastball isn’t enough to bail him out. Here’s MLB video of Moore. The righty from Eugene, Oregon was BaseballAmerica’s #125 prospect.
All things considered, or rather, all things considered in a good 20 minutes or so, I like the moves. The M’s didn’t pick high enough to get someone without some question marks – hell, most teams in the first round didn’t either – but they balanced the risks well. In Neidert, they get someone with very nice raw stuff, but some light injury worries. In Moore, they sacrifice stuff for polish and a great major-conference track record.
For a great recap of Day 1 overall, check out Chris Crawford’s recap at Baseball Prospectus.