2015 Splits Review: John Mora | Astromets Mind

Monday, March 21, 2016

2015 Splits Review: John Mora

The little speedster had a big season in the outfield for Savannah last year, so what kind of prospect do the Mets have on their hand?

2015 with Savannah (including playoffs): 118 G, 493 PA, .278/.370/.424, 66 R, 22 2B, 12 3B, 5 HR, 61 RBI, 70 K: 59 BB (14.2 K%: 12 BB%), .319 BABIP, .146 ISO, 127 wRC+, 10.7 AB/XBH, 6.4% HR/FB, 50.1 GB%: 21.8 FB%: 19.3 LD%: 8.7 PU%, 14-25 on Stolen Bases

            The Mets signed John Mora out of the Dominican Republic as an 18-year old back in November 2011 and then sent him to the DSL. For most DR prospects, the story ends there, but after a couple of seasons hitting well in the DSL, the Mets brought Mora stateside to start the 2014 season in extended spring training and then the GCL. The Mets would promote him past Kingsport after a big first month in the GCL, and Mora went on to post a nice .292 average during his month in Brooklyn (95 wRC+), which earned him a shot with Savannah out of the gate in 2015. And he took full advantage of his shot with the Sand Gnats, tying for the team lead in wRC+ (128) and XBH (39) during the regular season, without posting a crazy BABIP (.320). He played all 3-outfield positions while with Savannah, spending half of his time in CF and the other half split evenly between LF and RF. Below I take a look at some trends from Mora’s 2015, and then share links to all GIF and YouTube coverage of Mora.

John Mora's spray chart vs. LHP (left) and vs. RHP (right)

Table 1 – John Mora’s 2015 Splits by Month

Table 2 – John Mora’s 2015 Splits by Pitcher Handedness

Table 3 – John Mora’s 2015 Splits by Home/Away

            Looking at Table 1, Mora’s K% went from above average in the 1st half to elite in the 2nd half, so it will be interesting to see how he fares against more advanced pitching, and if he can continue to make in-season adjustments. His pop-up rate also improved from the 1st half to the 2nd, going from 10.8% over the first 3 months to 6.2% over the final 3 months. His platoon splits look like a potential problem, but he owns RHP’s, and that might actually help him earn a role at the highest level. He played his home games at Grayson Historic Park, which was a known drain on lefty production, especially power production, but his home/away splits are surprising, because that's a great SAL ISO and HR/FB rate on the road (not to mention nearly 1: 1 K: BB). If he can always hit like he did on the road in 2015, his defense in CF gets a longer rope, and he becomes one of the top prospects in the system. 

Table 4 – John Mora’s 2015 Splits by Batted Ball Type
*0-31 on pop ups; ª14th in the SAL, min. 40 PA

Table 5 – John Mora’s 2015 Splits by Batted Ball Direction
*LHB only

            On the one hand, Mora pulled the ball a bit too much last year, but on the other hand, he was just doing what he does best, and he does pulling the ball best. He’ll have to show that he can use the whole field against more advanced pitching and scouting, because otherwise teams will find a way to take advantage of that. He uses a big leg kick as a timing device while the pitcher is coming home, which allows him to get some nice pull power, but makes it difficult for him to go to LF. Given his speed, I think he could steal infield singles slapping the ball on the ground the other way, and may need to do something like that when pitchers start refusing to come in against him. Fellow Mets prospect Gavin Cecchini showed a big leg kick with Savannah in 2014, but removed it entering 2015 to improve his contact numbers, and the tradeoff helped Gavin have his best pro season at the plate. Mora doesn’t need big homerun power with his speed, he just needs to find the gaps and run, so I think it would be a worthwhile tradeoff for him too.
            In their 2016 Prospect Guidebook, Baseball America describes Mora as, “a quick-twitch athlete who has plus speed, solid-average range in center field, and a contact-oriented hitting approach.” He’s looking to gap the ball and run (or pull it down the line and run), but he’s willing to wait for his pitch or take a walk. He’s got the speed to handle CF and be a good base stealer, but there’s work to be done in both areas. His reads and routes weren’t rated well in CF, and his 58% stolen base rate is way too low for someone with plus speed. The overall package reminds me a lot of former Mets outfielder Eric Young Jr., who learned to steal bases well, but has not been good enough defensively for CF or offensively for LF. There’s plenty of time for the 22-year old Mora to smooth out the rough edges, but right now, the package is looking more like an 4th outfielder. I think he’ll take a big step forward in prospect rankings after his exposure to the FSL this year, but unless he hits like he did on the road in 2015, I don’t think it will change the projection much. That’s not a bad thing, because EY proved he could be useful in the 4th OF role, and because Mora might have something EY never really showed: a big platoon split, with the advantage against RHP.

2015 Astromets Mind Coverage


YouTube Video’s of John Mora

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