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 Minor League News & Autograph Blog Home

Top Prospect Alert - Dustin Moseley

By Schuyler Dombroske

DOB: 12/26/81, Age: 21, Height: 6’4’’, Weight: 200, Bats: R, Throws: R. Acquired: Reds - Drafted in the 1st Round (supplemental) of the 2000 Draft (Texarkana HS, Texarkana, AR). 2002 Stats: (High-A - Stockton) 6-3, 2.74 ERA, 93 IP, 60 H, 3 HR, 21 BB, 80 K; (AA - Chattanooga) 5-6, 4.13 ERA, 81 IP, 91 H, 5 HR, 37 BB, 52 K. 2003 Stats: (AA - Chattanooga) 3-2, 3.26 ERA, 50 IP, 48 H, 5 HR, RHRH12 BB, 21 K.
   Dustin Moseley is one of the many pitching prospects that the Reds have moving up to bolster their subpar big-league rotation. Drafted with a compensation pick in 2000 resulting form the loss of Juan Guzman to free agency, Moseley has shown signs that he is catching up to AA hitters somewhat this year at Chattanooga. Moseley is not overpowering, throwing his fastball in the 88-92 mph range most of the time, but he has enough sinking action to prevent hitters from teeing off (13 HR allowed in 224 IP in ’02 and ‘03). He also has a curve and a changeup that are already quality pitches, and his control with all three is rather advanced for his age (2.2 BB/9 this year). Moseley is only 21, so my concerns for him are relatively minor at this point, but the positives involved with reducing his walk rate per nine by nearly 2.0 are somewhat offset by the 1.0 drop in what was an already low K/9 figure. By now, everyone knows that I wholeheartedly subscribe to Bill James’ theory that no pitcher can survive for long with a K/9 rate lower than 4.5, and Moseley is treading that path at this point. In fact, there are very few examples that I am aware of involving pitchers with that kind of K rate in the minor leagues that exhibited any kind of big league success at all. I will be watching that figure more closely than the rest of his line for the next few starts, as I feel that it will be the key to his future prospects.
    The Reds have a very interesting (mostly young as well) lineup and a serviceable bullpen to their credit right now, but their rotation is what will keep them from being competitive in the near future. For example, thus far in 2003 their “ace” (Danny Graves) is the only with an ERA under 5.00, and except for Jeff Austin’s five starts, is also the only one with a WHIP under 1.50. Moseley, along with Bobby Basham and Josh Hall (and Chris Gruler further away) are the help that is expected to arrive over the next few seasons. To me, Moseley projects to be a middle of the rotation starter, not an ace, mostly due to the fact that he does not have a single overpowering offering. I think he is probably slightly behind Basham but slightly ahead of Hall in terms of future potential, but Hall’s curveball might be good enough to jump him ahead of Moseley in the mythical Reds’ 2005 rotation. Moseley has added a few mph to his fastball since signing, however, so at his age there is still the chance that he could take that last step (he is one year younger than both Basham and Hall). Moseley’s best comparison at this point is a pitcher like John Burkett. As such, you can assume that unless his arsenal improves even more, he is going to be one of those “low margin of error” pitchers, so plan accordingly. I expect him to see a few innings this season in Cincy if all goes well at AA, and he is on track to make it up to stay sometime next season.


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