Moronta came to the Giants as an international free agent in 2010 out of the Dominican Republic, and spent three of his first four seasons in Rookie ball developing. Moronta has a stocky build to his medium frame and looks like a non-athlete. He works directly from the stretch and has a delivery with a slight bend at the waist before a high leg kick and a whippy, max-effort 3/4 arm angle to the plate. He utilizes his glove arm elbow as a guide, pointing the elbow directly at the plate and hiding the ball behind his body. He will open up his front shoulder, leading to early arm-side run and poor command at times. He has had inconsistent control, showcased by the 74 walks in his 177 career IP.
He has shown the ability to generate significant swing and miss (212 Ks in 177 IP) through his career, including this year (42 K’s in 28 Innings) due to his stuff. The ball explodes out of Moronta’s hand, jumping on hitters extremely quickly. His near-elite fastball regularly sat 94-to-96 mph (T97) with late arm side bore. He also showcased a plus slider that sat 84-to-85 mph with late downward, cutting action that was tough for hitters to pick up as it cut hard off the fastball plane. The slider led to five strikeouts in my looks, and plenty of foolish swings. He also showed an average changeup that was generally straight with a small drop and designed to keep hitters off balance. The change was only thrown a couple of times at 83 mph, but if he’s able to replicate the same path as the fastball as he did in this viewing, it could play up, and prove to be a difficult pitch to hit.
Moronta definitely has some trouble getting pitches to the glove side of the plate and regularly is over the middle/arm side of the plate with all three pitches. Even though he had an inability to pitch to a third of the plate in this appearance, this hasn’t affected him at all this season (.184 BAA, 1.04 WHIP). With a high-octane fastball, a plus slider, an average changeup and the ability to miss bats, Moronta has the tools to be an impact closer. His bad body scares me, but if he can improve his conditioning and continue to work on his control, Moronta could be on San Francisco’s roster quickly.