The headliner, Moore pitched the fourth inning for the USA team. The pregame chatter seemed to revolve around Moore, as Jerry Crasnick unleashed a few tweets about him. First quoting a scout who said Moore’s stuff is “tremendous”, and then another who said the Rays will have the best rotation within two years. That’s high praise, and for a pitcher to get so much attention in a game that features Bryce Harper, Wil Myers, Manny Machado, and countless others is saying something.
Moore didn’t hurt his hype by stepping onto the mound. There is no surer way for a pitcher to up his Q rating than by hitting 100 miles per hour in a televised showcase, and here Moore recorded high velocities throughout his brief outing. The TV gun, which was a mile per hour or two faster than the PITCHf/x readings, had his velocities at 95, 99, 100, 88, 98, 97, 87, 89, 99, 98, and 99 miles per hour.
Pre-delivery, Moore stands in a way that reminds me of James Shields. Any comparison there falls apart after he starts his delivery, as it’s a bit complex, with his arms extending upwards before he removes the ball and fires it in, with easy velocity. Some reports have suggested Moore has trouble repeating his delivery, which causes some of his wildness, and it’s possible he has smoothed it over some since last season. Moore’s body isn’t that of a string bean, and despite only being 6-foot-2, his build looks of someone who can be a durable starter.
Lee started the game for the World team, and was the first of the Rays trio to get some exposure, as he made a routine play to end the first inning. Later on, Lee got ahead 3-1 on Shelby Miller—one of the game’s top pitching prospects—only to fan on a failed check swing attempt on an outside fastball. Lee also recorded what J.J. Cooper had as four seconds from home to first, which is well above average speed from a lefty. The rest of Lee’s day consisted of defensive plays, mostly starting two double plays and looking oh so smooth on the turns.
The last Ray in, Beckham entered as a pinch hitter in the fifth inning and went down looking. Beckham drove a ball deep into the left-center gap in his second at-bat, nearly clearing the wall on a pitch up and in. I turned the game off after the eighth because I, like everyone else, want a few days off, and finished writing before the game ended, so if Beckham did something in the ninth I missed it.
Regardless, you can tell more from one game about a pitcher than a hitter, so there isn’t much to write about Beckham, but it does appear his swing is more balance now than when he was drafted, and he showed off a leg kick that he previously did not have. That isn’t a surprise, but we’re a little over a month removed from the draft, and it’s a reminder that these guys sometimes have to reprogram their muscle memory on the most basic things.