Moyer legacy lives on in Angels' 7th-rounder
Former pitcher's son, Hutton, showed improvement at Pepperdine University
ANAHEIM -- Dillon Moyer, a Dodgers farmhand, and Hutton Moyer, the Angels' seventh-round pick on Tuesday, are ingrained in footage of the 2008 Phillies' run to a World Series championship. When they clinched the National League East, when they won the pennant and when they recorded the final out to defeat the Rays in the Fall Classic that year, Dillon and Hutton were right there, on the field, in the clubhouse, on the dais, right alongside their distinguished father, Jamie Moyer.
"Those experiences that I've been able to share with my boys, on the field, that part of it, is something that we will always have together, as father and son," Moyer, who carved out a 25-year career as a starting pitcher, said in a phone conversation on Tuesday. "They've seen what that takes. They've seen the excitement, they've seen the ups, they've seen the downs, and I think that's one thing our boys will benefit from."
Moyer has now raised potentially two professional middle infielders. Dillon, a shortstop from UC San Diego, was the 38th-round pick by the Dodgers in 2013 and Hutton, a second baseman from Pepperdine University, was the Angels' 225th overall selection in 2015.
"He knows the game, he loves the game, he's got a passion for the game," Moyer said of Hutton. "You hear people talk about basketball players being gym rats, and he would be a baseball-field rat as far as I'm concerned. Both of my boys are."
Moyer remembers all those days Dillon and Hutton tagged along in clubhouses throughout the Major Leagues, all the buckets of ground balls they fielded after Spring Training workouts.
Asked to give an assessment of Hutton, Moyer tried his best to be unbiased. He talked about his increased power, going from zero home runs as a sophomore to 14 as a junior. He brought up his versatility. And he called his speed "a little bit above average."
Hutton, a 21-year-old who finished his junior year with a .295/.413/.564 slash line, was a right-handed hitter who didn't learn to switch-hit until he was a couple of years into his high-school career.
This past season, the majority of his home runs came from the left side of the plate.
"He did that on his own," Moyer said. "I've had teammates in the past that were switch-hitters and I saw how difficult that was for them, so I respect the difficulty of becoming a switch-hitter and I think it really speaks volumes for who he is and the type of player he has become."
Angels scouting director Ric Wilson isn't sure which position Hutton will play in the organization, but he likes his versatility and believes he can also play shortstop and the outfield.
Of course, the Angels need to sign him to a professional contract first.
"Hopefully it'll be an easy process for him," Moyer said, "so he can move forward with his aspirations."
Hutton -- listed at 5-foot-11 and 175 pounds -- has a year of eligibility left, but Wilson doesn't foresee any signability issues with any of the Angels' top 10 picks. The elder Moyer, 52, said finishing school is important to Hutton, but he also said playing professional baseball "is something he's dreamt of doing."
"He's got a long way to go, but he's come a long way, as well," Moyer said of his son. "I'm very proud of him and excited for him in this opportunity."