Sometimes, those players selected in the later rounds of the draft can surprise. Since being selected in the 15th round of the MLB Amateur Draft last year, Dalton Moats has been a force in the Tampa Bay Rays farm system.
A starter in college, Moats transitioned to the bullpen for the Rays. He performed well in Princeton, posting a 3.20 ERA and a 1.300 WHiP. In his 30 innings across 17 games, he struck out 29 batters while only issuing five walks, showcasing excellent command of his pitches. Although he allowed over a hit per inning, Moats appeared to be a pitcher to keep an eye on.
This season, he has taken a large step forward. After dominating with the Bowling Green Hot Rods, he was promoted to the Charlotte Stone Crabs. There, he has been even better, dominating the Florida State League as the Stone Crabs closer. Overall in 2017, Moats has posted an excellent 1.07 ERA and a 0.772 WHiP. In his 33.2 innings over 21 games, Moats has notched six saves, striking out 38 batters against just five walks.
His success would be astonishing if one just looked at his fastball. Sitting in the upper 80s to low 90s, it is not what one would expect from a shutdown reliever. However, he pairs that fastball with an excellent curve and a good changeup, giving him a solid three pitch arsenal. Add in his solid command, and Moats could end up developing into an integral part of the Rays bullpen.
Dalton Moats has dramatically outperformed his draft spot. If he keeps pitching the way he has to start his professional career, he could be on the fast track to the majors.