Sunday, March 29, 2009

TPC Prospect Smackdown: Matt Dominguez vs. Mike Moustakas

I got a recent request to do a write-up on Matt Dominguez, the up-and-coming third baseman for the Florida Marlins, and after looking over some stats, I realized that Dominguez and Mike Moustakas posted very similar numbers at A ball in 2008. So, I've decided to match up the 2 third basemen in a prospect smackdown, TPC style.

For those of you not familiar with Dominguez and Moustakas, here's a basic breakdown of their brief professional careers.

  • Mike Moustakas (6'0", 190 lbs.) was drafted with the #2 overall pick in the 2007 draft by the Kansas City Royals. Originally a shortstop, Moustakas looks more suited for third base, and there's an outside chance the Royals move him to the outfield in the future.
  • Matt Dominguez (6'2", 185 lbs.) was drafted with the #12 overall pick in the 2007 draft by the Florida Marlins. Dominguez has played exclusively at third base up to this point in his career, and will likely stay there.
Ok, now that we've got the basics covered, let's throw in some stats and then get down to business. Here are each players numbers from their time at A ball in 2008.

Overall, there weren't a lot of differences between the 2 players last year. Moustakas gets the edge on plate discipline and Dominguez gets the edge on power and age. With just one season of stats to go by, it's really hard to say which player is likely to have the most success at AA or AAA ball, and there's really no point in debating over which hitter has the most promising future at the major league level.

Although it's a bit early to declare either Dominguez or Moustakas the third baseman of the future, I would like to point out a few comparable players that posted relatively similar stats at A ball.

Players like Alex Rodriguez and Andruw Jones were incredible hitters very early. They had above average plate discipline, and they displayed above average power. Dominguez doesn't have quite the same capabilities as Rodriguez or Jones, but he does compare very well to players like Delmon Young, who showed a respectable strikeout to walk ratio and power numbers at an early age. Likewise, Moustakas isn't on the same level as previous elite hitters, but he compares well to Jay Bruce, showing good plate discipline and power numbers that will increase with age.

I included Prince Fielder and Corey Patterson in the above chart to illustrate the importance of balancing power with plate discipline. While Fielder's IsoP was much lower than Patterson's, Fielder had much better plate discipline, and eventually went on to have much more success at the major league level. In the case of both Moustakas and Dominguez, both hitters seem to fall somewhere between Fielder and Patterson in terms of plate discipline, so while they aren't the most balanced hitters in the world, they aren't the worst either.

The next couple of years should tell us a lot about Mike Moustakas and Matt Dominguez. If they continue to develop their power and plate discipline, they could be very good hitters at the major league level. If I had to choose between the 2 right now, I'd probably lean towards taking Dominguez, although it wouldn't be a confident choice by any means. At this point, they both project as .270-.310 hitters, with 30 plus home run power, and possibly 40 plus power in their prime years.

Edit: I forgot to throw in the Sean Burroughs comp for you James.

Burroughs was a great contact hitter, but never really had much power. Once again, another good example of why it's important to balance plate discipline with power.

I also wanted to add that while it seems popular among on-line conversations to discount Dominguez's power and forgive some of Moustakas' struggles in early '08, I think in the end it all cancels out. After looking over park factors and player progression, Dominguez hit well away from Greensboro, and given the age difference, I think he still displayed more power than Moustakas. But, we'll see how 2009 goes, and after another 500 plate appearances we should have a clearer long term picture for both hitters.
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James said...

Two more good comparisons

Andy Marte
Scott Rolen

Thanks buddy

Adam G said...

Good comps. Marte never really panned out (still can't figure that one out...maybe when he got traded to Cleveland he didn't adjust well or something), but his A ball numbers were very comparable to Dominguez (although Marte posted a K/BB ratio of 2.8). Rolen had better plate discipline at A ball (1.6 K/BB), but his power wasn't as good (IsoP of .168).

If you have anyone else you want me to look at, let me know James. I've got a pretty easy week, so I've got some time.

James said...

Easy week... I'm envious :(

Since my last question was not Braves related can I make an inquiry regarding Cody Johnson? I know the obvious (terrible K/BB.. drool-worthy power), but his power isn't as good as Maybin but his K IMO isn't as bad as Maybin. And Johnson had a descent season at Rome (and at Danville the year before) How do these two worrisome players compare and has there been a MLer w/ similar stat in the minors?

James said...

Sorry sorry... not maybin... I was thinking of Stanton

Anonymous said...

That isn't Mike Moustakas in the picture. Moustakas bats LH, and that's a righty.

James said...

well he got it from google image (when you search mike moustakas)... however it is from a korean website...

Adam, maybe you should stick to posting baseball card pic from now on... can't go wrong w/ that ;)

Adam G said...

Hey guys, thanks for the heads up about the picture. Maybe I'll do the baseball card thing like you suggested James.

I've been thinking about a Mike Stanton post lately, so I'll throw in Cody Johnson and see what comes out.