Image courtesy of Gerry McDonald

Top 50 Jays Prospects, Jays Journal Edition: #30 Moises Sierra


After back to back Canadians Michael Crouse and Nicholas Purdy at #32 and #31 comes a non-drafted free-agent from the Dominican Republic…

#30: Moises Sierra

Right Fielder / 22 years old / 6′1″ 225 lbs

Born: September 24th, 1988 in Santo Domingo, DO

Bats: Right    Throws: Right

High School Team: N/A

College Team: N/A

Signed By: The Toronto Blue Jays as a non-drafted free-agent on December 20th, 2005

Jersey Number: #43 for the Dunedin Blue Jays

Quick Facts:

  • 2009 Florida State League Mid-Season All-Star
  • Florida State League Player of the Week on June 15th. 2009
Year Age Level G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG
2006 17 DOSL 69 245 35 62 16 1 4 26 24 50 .253 .345 .376
2007 18 GCL 43 143 17 29 5 1 5 15 5 39 .203 .248 .357
2008 19 A 130 451 50 111 16 5 9 39 26 114 .246 .297 .364
2009 20 A+/AA 118 439 57 128 25 2 6 62 35 74 .292 .360 .399
2010 21 GCL/A+ 20 71 8 15 3 0 2 8 5 19 .211 .256 .338

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2009 Dunedin Blue Jays Team Stats Ranking for Moises Sierra:

  • 1st in games played (110), at-bats (405), runs (56), and hits (116)
  • Tied for 1st in total bases (159)
  • 2nd in doubles (24)
  • Tied for 3rd in triples (2)
  • 4th in stolen bases (10) and RBI (56)
  • 7th in walks (34) and strikeouts (66)

Interviews/Video: N/A

Extra Information and previous experience:

A six-figure international free-agent signing, Moises Sierra became part of the Blue Jays organization at the tender age of just 17-years-old. It’s always an indicator that an organization is quite high on a player when they look outside the draft to sign talent., and it’s no exception with the Toronto Blue Jays and Moises Sierra.

Sierra began his professional career back home in the Dominican Summer League, where he managed a .721 OPS along with 62 hits in 245 at-bats (69 games). He certainly displayed some extra base power from his large 6’4′, 225 pound frame, as he managed 16 doubles and four home runs. He was also quick on the base paths for a big guy, as he went 17-for-20 in stolen base attempts.

The Jays decided it was time for Sierra to make his North American debut the following season in 2007, which he spent with the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays, appearing in 43 games. It’s important to virtually dismiss the lackluster .203/.248/.357 line Sierra put up that season, as he was adjusting to a foreign country while trying to learn English as well.

The Blue Jays did just that, by promoting Sierra to Class-A Lansing anyway the following season in 2008, where he got his first taste of full season professional baseball. In 130 games as the Lugnuts starting right fielder, Sierra managed a .246 average and .661 OPS, along with 16 doubles, 5 triples, 9 home runs, and 114 strikeouts.

Obviously this was Sierra’s first full year in the United States, so he was still adjusting to his new lifestyle as well as continuing to learn English. Similar to what Mat noted yesterday in his article about Adeiny Hechevarria, the lack of Spanish speaking personnel around Sierra could easily have had a negative effect on his instruction and development.

Once Sierra was aggressively promoted to Hi-A Dunedin for the 2009 season was when he really started to show his ability. He hit a .286/.360/.393 line in 110 games with the Dunedin Blue Jays, including 24 doubles, 2 triples, and five home runs, and went 10-for-12 in stolen base attempts. This strong showing led to a late season promotion to Double-A New Hampshire, where he was dominant in the 8 games he played in, going 12-for-35 (.353) at the plate with one home run and 6 RBI.

Offensively, Sierra has considerably improved his approach with two strikes as well as his ability to hit offspeed pitches. His contact abilities improved as well, as he has cut down on his strikeouts, against a higher level of competition to boot. A right-handed hitter, Sierra has always been more effective against left-handed pitching, but he is gradually starting to even out his his numbers between southpaws and right-handers. His thick frame allows for a strong ability to hit for power, but he hasn’t really tapped into his potential yet in that regard. He is still young though, and should be able to address that issue next season.

What makes Sierra special though is his cannon of an arm, with the term “cannon” even being an understatement. One of the best defensive outfield prospects in the Jays’ system, some scouts have said that Sierra may even have the best arm in the entire Minor Leagues, with one admitting Sierra may have the best arm he has ever seen. The numbers don’t lie either: 6 outfield assists in 2007, 11 in 2008, and a whopping 15 in 2009 split between Hi-A and Double-A, where he had 2 in just 6 games with the Fisher Cats. Needless to say, runners are going to have to reconsider advancing from first to third or tagging on a sacrifice fly with Sierra patrolling right field.

After Sierra’s strong 2009 season, it was easy to think that a stint with Triple-A Las Vegas was likely in his sights before the end of 2010, with the possibility of even a callup to the Majors when the rosters expanded in September.

Sierra was unfortunately the victim of some bad luck this past season though, where he appeared in only 20 games and missed almost the entire first half of the season with a microfracture in his shin. When he resumed baseball activities, he broke the hamate bone in one of his wrists that sidelined him for virtually the remainder of the season.

Overall, Sierra hit .265/.342/.412 in 10 games with the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays, and .162/.175/.270 in another 10 games with the Dunedin Blue Jays. He still managed to notch 3 doubles, 2 home runs, 8 RBI, and 2 outfield assists in those 20 games though.

Sierra will still be only 22-years-old next season, so he has more than enough of an opportunity to rebound from losing a full season from his development. It’s obvious the Blue Jays remain high on him and feel the same way, as he was added to their 40-man roster in November and protected from the Rule 5 Draft.

Sierra got an early opportunity to work out some kinks in the Dominican Winter League this offseason, where he went 3-for-11 (.273) with a double, a home run, and 4 RBI.

Expected 2011 Team: Dunedin Blue Jays

Ultimate ceiling if he puts it all together: Everyday RF

With Sierra’s 2010 season virtually a write off, ranking him on our Top 50 was a bit of a challenge. Some will likely consider his #30 ranking this year as low, but it also takes into account other outfielders on our list like Thames, Marisnick, and Knecht.

I sincerely hope for a healthy Moises Sierra to return to Dunedin in 2011 with a vengeance and force the Jays’ hand to promote him all the way up to Triple-A Las Vegas before the end of the season.

Sierra should have an exciting 2011 season, and is yet another Jays’ prospect worth keeping your eyes on next year.

-JM

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Tags: Eric Thames Jake Marisnick Markus Knecht Moises Sierra Toronto Blue Jays

  • Andy Mc

    Another solid post. You didn’t mention Corey Patterson as a bench option in your “bench” piece. Why not?

    • http://www.jayjournal.com Jared Macdonald

      Andy Mc, unfortunately I didn’t write the bench post, so I’m unsure as to why Patterson was omitted from it, possibly because he doesn’t have a guaranteed Major League contract? Though it would be strange to not see him at the MLB level in 2011.

      That being said, you’re absolutely right that Patterson will be right in the thick of it come Spring Training and should be a favorite to be a fourth outfielder or platoon partner with Davis.

      The platoon idea still seems unlikely though, because Patterson’s numbers vs. RHP (vs. LHP have been awful the last 3 seasons) are only marginally better than Davis’.

  • Andy Mc

    I could see Sierra doing very well at the Merch in NH, and in Vegas later, for that matter. He seems like the kind of natural RF that is a rarity today, which makes me very hopeful for his future.

    I also think your “ceiling” rating for him is low. He could very well become a major power + defence threat. Add that to above average speed, teach him more patience and what do you have?

    I expect him to mash in NH by July at the latest.

  • FenixL

    Coming into last season he was probably one of my personal favourite blue jay prospects, so i have a soft spot for the guy. He has a high ceiling in my own opinion, he can hit for average, his body type and his doubles show that power is going to come, he has some speed, and as mentioned in the article, he has an absolute cannon for an arm.

    Now with an influx of new prospects he has sort of fallen off the map. I hope he mashes this year, and has an injury free season. If he has a good healthy season i wouldnt be suprised to see him as a September call up

  • mylegacy

    Sierra and Chavez gave us two terrific Latino outfielders. With Chavez traded it’s all down to Moises.

    I agree that 2010 was basically a lost year for the guy – he profiles to be a powerful monster and I expect we’ll start to see that this year. By the time he’s 25 – WOW. To have a system where a guy with his up-side is 30th – WOW – what a system. As to his arm, I remember hearing when he was just 17 in the Dominican that his arm was considered to be better – then – than Barfield’s was in his prime – another WOW.

    • FenixL

      I was upset to see Chavez go, he had an amazing year too albeit in a hitters park, but we did recieve a great pitcher for him in Brandon Morrow, who had a great year respectfully

      I think we can all agree his arm is his standout tool, and its something that will have a great impact on the game if he gets to the majors. He just needs to stay healthy because his cieling is as good as anybodys in my own opinion. I agree that it’s special to have a guy of Sierra’s calibar at number 30, but that also has a lot to due with the injuries he suffered this season.

  • http://www.jayjournal.com Jared Macdonald

    Glad to see the love for Sierra and that he hasn’t been forgotten about.

    While Sierra has been in the Jays organization for 5 years, he’s still only 22 going into next season. Even if he has to take 2-3 more seasons in the Minors (unlikely if he’s healthy), then he’d still be relatively young by baseball standards at 24 or 25 years old when he finally cracks the big club.

    Like I stated in the post, I really hope he goes on a tear in 2011 and skyrockets up to somewhere in our top 15 on our Top 50 list next year. If he reaches his ceiling, he’ll be a stud MLB mainstay for years to come.

    • lolwut

      I can’t help but be optimistic for Sierra. This is a guy who has been injured and hasn’t played much above AA ball, yet Alex put him on the 40-man roster instead of exposing him at the draft.

      He could be a stud… or he could be a bench player with an amazing arm.

      I’m hoping for a big breakout season from him.

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