Rising prospect Moore not getting ahead of himself

Rising prospect Moore not getting ahead of himself

SEATTLE -- When it comes to homegrown pitching prospects, former Oregon State standout Andrew Moore fits the bill on two fronts for the Mariners.

For starters, he's a Northwest kid who grew up in Eugene, Ore., watching the Mariners on television and occasionally making the trek to Safeco Field to watch Jamie Moyer and later Felix Hernandez. But he's also one of the few top-flight pitching prospects remaining who was drafted or signed and developed by Seattle after general manager Jerry Dipoto traded away Ryan Yarbrough and Luiz Gohara last Wednesday on the heels of Andrew Kittredge and Dylan Thompson on Nov. 18.

Moore is fairly new to the Mariners himself, having been selected in the 2015 Draft with the 72nd overall pick -- a Competitive Balance Round B selection after the second round -- following an outstanding career as a three-year starter at Oregon State. But he quickly impressed the Mariners with a strong campaign last year, moving swiftly from Class A Advanced Bakersfield to Double-A Jackson, going a combined 12-4 with a 2.65 ERA in 28 starts to be named the franchise's Minor League Pitcher of the Year.

Rookie Prg: Moore

Moore, the Mariners' No. 8 prospect per MLBPipeline.com, will be invited to big league camp in February and he most likely will start the year with Triple-A Tacoma -- a phone call away from a potential promotion should anything go awry in Seattle's veteran five-man rotation.

But the 22-year-old right-hander isn't getting caught up in that, sticking with the advice that former Mariners pitching coordinator Rick Waits offered last year when he told him to just keep throwing the way he did at Oregon State, learn as much as possible along the way and let everything else take care of itself.

"That how I look at it going forward, where every day I'm just trying to become a better pitcher, wherever that might be," Moore said recently at the MLB Rookie Career Development Program in Leesburg, Va. "Whatever I end up, I'll compete there."

The 6-foot, 185-pound Moore isn't an imposing physical presence on the mound, but he knows how to pitch and combines excellent fastball command with a good changeup and a slider to keep hitters off balance.

"I think my velo was better at the end of the year than it was at the beginning, and that came from working with the strength coaches and keeping up my strength and mobility through the length of the season," Moore said at the end of his 2016 campaign during a Safeco Field stop to accept his Pitcher of the Year honor.

"I don't think size plays into it a whole lot," he said. "It's just about getting outs, and that's all I try to do. I'm not thinking about my size when I'm out there, I'm just trying to compete and have fun to the best of my ability."

Prospects on jersey numbers

Moore met Moyer midway through last season, and he said that conversation was a definite boost.

"He talked about whenever the stage was big or he had a big pitch, he always tried to throw slower, where a lot of people try to speed up or muscle up and throw harder," Moore said. "He talked about taking a step back, not trying to force it in there and just be yourself. That was something he did a fantastic job of throughout his long career, so that was a big piece I took from him and will keep with me going forward."

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.