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Gabriel Moreno Showed Off Elite Defense In His First Series

Gabriel Moreno #55 of the Toronto Blue Jays acknowledges cheering fans after hitting his first Major League hit with first baseman Spencer Torkelson #20 of the Detroit Tigers looking on during the ninth inning at Comerica Park on June 11, 2022, in Detroit, Michigan.
(Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

 

Toronto Blue Jays catcher Gabriel Moreno, MLB’s fourth-best prospect, has already made his debut over the weekend.

Offense is his calling card, with incredible bat-to-ball skills and some power, but his glove isn’t lagging behind.

Sportsnet’s Arden Zwelling tweeted some details of his throwing arm after his first few reps behind the plate in MLB.

“Some pretty impressive metrics on Gabriel Moreno’s first attempt to throw out a base-stealer at MLB level: Pop time: 1.83 seconds (98th percentile). Velocity: 81.3 mph (94th percentile),” he said.

Those are very good numbers that tell us Moreno is more than just a catcher who can bat .300: he has some defensive ability, too.

 

Moreno Is More Than Just A .300 Bat

According to FanGraphs’ prospect evaluator Eric Longenhagen, Moreno “popped in the 1.95-1.98 range during Fall League, a slightly above-average range of times for throws down to second base.”

That was his evaluation in January, prior to the season, so it’s pretty clear that he improved his pop time a lot during the offseason.

Overall, Moreno is said to be the most athletic catcher to come along since J.T. Realmuto, which is saying a lot.

He has some sneaky speed, but his offensive skills (especially contact and barrel control) and throwing arm are major league-ready tools that give him a future in the league.

He is coming to a team with perhaps the best organizational catching situation in MLB (Alejandro Kirk is similarly talented, and the injured Danny Jansen is a solid regular), but Moreno is good enough to get at least half of the available playing time right now.

The Blue Jays have a very good catcher for the future with Moreno.




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