So far in our Baseball Bloodlines series, we have looked a how different generations have passed down their Baseball DNA to their youthful counterparts, specifically in what they themselves accomplished. Vladimir Guerrero and Dante Bichette passed down their power bats, Mariano Rivera passed down his abilities at the back of the bullpen, and Carl Crawford seems to have shared his “toolsiness” with his baby cousin.
What happens when your son doesn’t play your position?
For 25 years, Jamie Moyer threw pitches in the big leagues. From the age of 23 until he was nearly 50 years old, all Moyer did was pitch. That’s why it makes perfect sense that both of his sons became middle infielders (can you sense the sarcasm?).
While 25-year-old Dillon Moyer joined the Mariners system this past year hoping to resurrect his career in his conversion from shortstop to right-handed bullpen arm, 23-year-old Hutton Moyer had a breakout year of sorts for the Los Angeles Angels.
Jamie Moyer’s career spanned four decades. The southpaw made his debut in 1986 with the Chicago Cubs. He picked up a win in his first big league start, despite allowing RBIs to names like Von Hayes, Juan Samuel and Mike Schmidt. He pitched for eight teams before hanging it up in 2012, seeing the best years of his career in Seattle, when he became a 20-game winner for their record setting 116-win team in 2001. He posted another 20-win season two years later before he brought his talents to the City of Brotherly Love. At 45 years old, and behind one of the finest seasons of his career, Moyer finally won his World Series.
Moyer finished his career with a 269-209 record behind a 4.25 career ERA and 1.32 WHIP. For all of the WAR junkies out there, he finished with a 50 career WAR (or 48.2 if you prefer FanGraphs) which proved one thing: Moyer may have never been the most electric pitcher or Hall of Fame bound, but he was a reliable middle-of-the-rotation arm for a very long time.
The youngest Moyer is now working his way up the Angels minor league ladder, reaching High-A ball this season. He parlayed a breakout junior campaign at Pepperdine into a shot at the big leagues, being selected with the last pick of the seventh round in 2015’s MLB Draft. He led the West Coast Conference with 14 home runs his junior season — a remarkable feat considering he had hit a total of two home runs his first two seasons — while slashing .295/.413/.564. He appeared to have transformed his gap power — one that led him to the top of the leaderboards in 2014 with 24 doubles — to over-the-fence power, and the Angels seemingly liked what they saw from the future second baseman.
Hutton began his professional career last season in the Pioneer League, and nothing special popped out. He slashed .241/.323/.438 with four home runs and a worrisome 33-to-9 strikeout-to-walk rate. He played decent enough second base (making a one game appearance at shortstop), making seven errors in 189 total chances. He displayed enough speed and arm strength to stick up the middle.
This season saw Hutton begin in Low-A Burlington and finish with Inland Empire in the California League. He proved no match for the pitching of the Midwest League, slashing .313/.371/.510 with eight doubles and three home runs in 26 games before earning a promotion to High-A.
It was there that he really dug in and found his power, which isn’t entirely uncommon when a hot-hitting prospect gets to the hitter-friendly confines of the California League. His batting average slipped, and he struck out a ton — 28.5 percent of the time to be precise — but he certainly found his power. He belted 14 home runs once with Inland Empire, while adding 25 doubles.
For more on Hutton Moyer’s promising career, head on over to Today’s Knuckleball for my full feature by clicking on the link below: