Steven Moya showcased his prodigious power Thursday in Triple-A Toledo's season opener, hitting a pair of early home runs and driving in five runs as the Mud Hens defeated Louisville, 10-2.The Tigers' No. 10 prospect collected three hits (3-for-4) in the win including two in the bottom of the second,
Steven Moya showcased his prodigious power Thursday in Triple-A Toledo's season opener, hitting a pair of early home runs and driving in five runs as the Mud Hens defeated Louisville, 10-2.
The Tigers' No. 10 prospect collected three hits (3-for-4) in the win including two in the bottom of the second, when Toledo erupted for eight runs and sent 11 hitters to the plate. Moya led off the frame with single to right field in his first at-bat of the year and later came around to score on catcher Bobby Wilson's two-out double. The Mud Hens would push across three more runs to bring Moya to the plate for a second time, and he delivered with a three-run homer to right center.
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"I was just trying to be aggressive with pitches in the strike zone," Moya told the Toledo Blade.
MILB Video - Title: Moya rips his second homer - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=578191083
Moya connected on his second long ball of the game in the fourth inning, when he drove a pitch from Steve Johnson over the left field wall for a two-run home run, extending Toledo's lead to 10-1.
That Moya homered twice on Opening Day should come as no surprise. The 24-year-old outfielder's power is among the best in the Minor Leagues, grading out as a 60 on the 20-80 scouting scale. His 35 home runs in 2014 was the fourth-most in the Minors, and he followed it up with 23 more last season in his first Triple-A campaign. (He hit 20 of his 23 homers with Toledo last season and three for Class A Advanced Lakeland).
However, the Tigers have yet to offer Moya a chance to stick in the big leagues as a regular for good reason. Moya's power comes with a lot of swing-and-miss and a disconcerting strikeout rate (30.3% at Triple-A in 2015), and he's never been one to make consistent contact or get on base.
Still, Moya's impressive performance on Opening Day is an encouraging sign, especially after he hit .367 with four home runs this spring in big league camp.
Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.