Grayson Moore – Vanderbilt Univerity via Opendorse
Whenever I do a mock draft, one of the things I focus on is a variety of players. I just don’t take starting pitchers and outfielders, shortstops and catchers. That is what most teams do and then they move them wherever they need them. For me, there is a lot of value in drafting guys who have been relievers in college. The experience of playing in the SEC in a packed stadium goes along way to helping develop someone for a pressure situation. This year, the Cubs took reliever Grayson Moore from Vanderbilt on day three of the draft, and I’m not the only one excited about that.
Age – 21
Throws – Right
Bats – Switch
Height – 6-foot-3
Weight – 215 pounds
From – Longwood, Florida
Drafted in the 14th round the 2023 draft
Here is what Tim Corbin, his college coach, said about his skills:
“One of the more improved pitchers on our team. Mature, consistent, trusted and committed. You are not guessing on what kind of effort and focus you are going to get from Grayson…he’s all in. He is making great strides on the mound because of his investment in the pitching lab and in the weight room. He has really strengthened his body which has had a great effect on his ball. Grayson has power stuff and a good mind. He will be a key part of our staff this year.”
For a college reliever, their life is pretty simple. They pitch once a week and that’s it. They might be used on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, and they prepare all week to pitch on that day.
Moore actually played summer ball in the Florida Collegiate Summer League before his freshman year. He got in 13 innings for the Sanford River Rats striking out 15 with a 1.38 ERA. That was a pretty good start to his college career. However, he did not play much as a freshman at Vanderbilt. He did get in five games. He pitched a total of six innings struck out six and walked four. Unfortunately, he also gave up six runs, which means his ERA is a perfect 9.00. After the spring season, Moore went back to summer ball, this time in the New England Collegiate Baseball League. He got a lot of work in getting 29.1 IP. He struck out 27 and walked just 8.
As a sophomore, he got in 16 games at Vanderbilt, one as a starter. His ERA was much more manageable at 5.06. What sticks out about his stat line is that in 26.2 innings, he struck out 36 batters. That is missing some aluminum.
Just like the previous two summers, Moore went on to play in the Cape Cod League for Wareham. He just dominated. A 0.45 ERA over 19.1 innings is pretty clear cut big things were happening.
The spring, he made 12 appearances, including two starts. He only pitched in 25.1 innings. Still, he put up a 3.06 ERA and he struck out 36 and walked just 10 which is a pretty good ratio 3.6 to 1. I think any coach could live with that.
While his college career at Vanderbilt was solid, it was in summer ball where Moore just shined. Liked the pros, the summer leagues play frequently throughout the week, not just the weekends. And the hardest thing for any college reliever to do once they turn pro is that they are going to be required to go two days a week. They usually know those ahead of time such as Tuesday and Friday or Wednesday with Saturday or Thursday backed by Sunday. For Moore, the more he worked in summer ball, the better he threw. That bodes well for his transition to the minors.
Moore’s future began in Mesa with 1 game and then he is likely headed to Myrtle Beach where he could probably end up pitching 8-10 innings this year. What he does next year is what has me thinking. He’s got a pretty good frame. I wonder what might be the odds of the Cubs have in transitioning him into a starter? It could take a while, but I’ll be curious to see if he is used next year as a piggyback starter to build up that arm strength since his inning totals were so low. Or will he continue as a straight up set up man or closer next summer?
It’s nice that there could be options with him, but odds are he’s going to come out of the pen this year and next. Just how much is going to be the question.
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