Moronta has progressed slowly through the Giants’ organization, signing and as an international free agent on September 16, 2010, and just now reaching his first season at Double-A Richmond.
Moronta carries weight around his waist beyond his 175 listed weight, and uses his frame to keep the ball hidden until the last second before release. His max-effort delivery has some moving parts that create issues with repeatability. He relies heavily on his plus fastball, which sat 94-to-96 mph (T97) during my multiple viewings. He gets into trouble when the pitch stays up in the zone, which translates to hard contact. He throws an average slider which sat 82-to-84 mph, playing up some with the deceptive delivery, though he’s lacking consistent control of the offering at present. The pitch breaks deep in the zone with late bite, causing hitters to swing and miss and flash as an above-average offering when he can locate it. Occasionally the pitch will flatten out up in the zone, but unless he’s commanding it, there’s no reason for hitters to chase it, instead preferring to wait for a fastball that misses his spot.
This season he has continued to struggle with his command (6.0 BB/9 in 18 innings of relief, while giving up 15 hits and eight earned runs), with the bright spot being his 26 strikeouts. In 162 innings, his career 12.67 SO/9 is attractive, his 3.93 BB/9 needs to improve considerably for him to be effective at the next level. He has benefitted from hitters being unable to catch up with his fastball, but that will not continue as he moves up and faces more experienced hitters.
While some deception plays the stuff up, he’ll need to manage his conditioning and improve his command to be effective at the higher levels. If he can get the command to even fringe-average, he could still project as a Role 50, late-inning reliever, but his performance this year is adding some risk to the profile.