Spring training has begun and there are now 25 days to go until Opening Day. What does that mean? It of course means that it is time to preview the supposed starting second baseman for the 2021 season, Dylan Moore!
2020 was an amazing year for Dylan Moore. Despite his rookie offensive and defensive struggles, Moore hit a batting line of .255/.358/.496, had an .855 OPS, and had a 0.5 defensive WAR. While Moore will most likely find a home at second this coming season, the super-utility player also has experience at first base, second base, third base, shortstop, leftfield, centerfield, rightfield, and yes he also pitched an inning.
Moore was able to have these high offensive numbers due to his unexpected power that saw him rank in the top third percentile for xwOBA, xSLG, exit velocity, hard-hit %, and barrel %. He also would have hit 11 home runs if every game was played in T-Mobile park, 3 higher than his actual total of 8.
So far this spring, Moore has had 9 at-bats and has two hits, one of them a double, a walk, and a stolen base. In his short time on the defensive side of that ball he has had some troubles at second base, as a few days ago against the Cubs he had a rough inning throwing to first and second on potential double plays.
Recently, I wrote about my expectations for Dylan Moore in 2021 and I had a realistic expectation and an optimistic prediction. My realistic expectation was a batting line of .225/.320/.435, which adds up to a .755 OPS. My Optimistic prediction was a .250/.375/.490 batting line and an .865 OPS along with 26 home runs, and he finishes top 3 in the league with 40 steals.
While I think that his excellent 2020 can carry over somewhat into 2021, we will have to wait and see how much of his power surge from last year will turn over into this upcoming season. It will also be interesting to see how many games Moore starts at second in 2021, or if he turns back into his prior role of a super-utility player.