MMO will be looking at multiple bargain options that are still available for the Mets this offseason. With Sandy Alderson figuring to have about $10 million left to spend, the Mets best chance to fill holes will be shopping at the dollar store.
It probably feels like you have heard Peter Moylan‘s name for years now. That’s because you have. Moylan was a Braves’ reliever all the way back in 2007. He was bouncing around the league for a little bit (largely due to injuries) but has had a nice couple of years for the Royals. Moylan posted a 3.43 ERA (126 ERA+) in 44.2 innings during the 2016 season and a 3.43 ERA (129 ERA+) in 59.1 innings this year. Moylan was good for a 1.1 WAR in 2017 due to his increased workload.
Moylan between the numbers looks even better. In 2017, righties hit a meager .161/.244/.236 against him with a .218 wOBA. He didn’t fair as well against the lefty swingers but he only faced 50 of them all of 2017.
Moylan was almost impossible to elevate against. Moylan posted a 63% ground ball rate against righties and batters only hit a fly ball 20% of the time. Against righties, he ranks 127th in xwOBA among 673 qualified pitchers. This just goes to further how much of weak contact and ground ball pitcher he is against the righties. He also gave up just four homers in 2017, which is very impressive for a season with a juiced ball.
Moylan is a submarine pitcher and his two best pitches are his slider and fastball. His slider is what makes him a really interesting option. Among 155 qualified relievers, Moylan’s slider ranks 28th in terms of value. His fastball ranks 46th out of 155 but lets focus on his slider because that has some real potential.
Among pitchers with 300 pitches thrown this season, Moylan’s slider ranks 152nd in spin rate out of every pitcher who threw at least 10 sliders. This might not sound that impressive but it might when I mention that there were 411 pitchers who qualified for this. Some pitchers who he was ahead of on this list include Brandon Morrow, Aroldis Chapman, Ken Giles, and Chris Devenski.
Before we dismiss this as monkey stats or mumbo jumbo, I will point out that the (World Champion) Houston Astros worship statcast and spin rate. So much so, they fired most of their scouting department to focus on statcast.
Now this doesn’t mean that he was as good as those pitchers but he did generate more movement on his slider than those pitchers did. Meaning if/when he can locate as well as those pitchers could, he could be a very dangerous pitcher. In fact, looking at his heatmaps, if Moylan keeps the ball extremely down, then he’s a kiss of death for righties. I’m sure Mickey Callaway and Dave Eiland can focus on this sort of stuff with Peter.
Moylan is 39 and will be for all of the 2018 season so he should be in for a reasonably cheap one-year deal. He has potential to be a really good value signing for the Mets and they should absolutely give him a call for this next season. With that said, they should call Addison Reed first, but Peter Moylan after that.