He and MaxRam were two players who I thought might be traded in the off season. MaxRam didn't draw enough interest but was claimed on waivers while Guillermo Moscoso was traded to Oakland on Saturday for RH reliever Ryan Kelly. I still really like Moscoso and he had a great 2009 campaign but followed that up with a stinker in 2010, losing his plus fastball command and unable to command his curveball. I attributed that to being overused in 2009, pitching a career high in innings while only having a couple of months off after pitching winter ball in 2008-2009, minor league ball in 2009, and winter ball in 2009-2010. Who knows. He is now having a fine season in the LVBP. At his best, his CB is above average, and his FB sits 92-94 with plus deception, while his changeup is fringe-average. I charted his start on 6/27 here. He had some of the most impressive starts of anyone in the system in the 2009 season.
Ryan Kelly (23.4 a/o 4/1) was a 26th round D&F for the Pirates in 2006. He signed on May 31, 2007 for 100k after 1 year at Walters State CC (6-1/4.71/57ip/55so). He has had an injury-plagued career by some accounts, though I can't seem to find enough info to properly summarize his injury history. A couple of sources say he missed some time due to a fractured ankle in 2010. He is reported to have a fastball that can sit 92-96 with plus command, a an ave-AA slider, and a a fringy changeup. He dominated out of the pen in the second half. His injury history, and dominant fastball could mean that he could quickly make it to AA next year. Texas followed him for the 2006 draft and alos got to see him for the last 2 years in the SAL so I would bet they like him due to his progress in 2010, including a tic up in his fastball, which was average as a starter.
Texas appears willing to settle for bullpen arms with a plus fastball with some issues (age, injury) rather than getting nothing (or settling for a position player or SP with a low ceiling and higher risk level) which seems a good strategy as those types of arms can progress quickly if all things come together. Mark Hamburger has proven to be a nice find for the club after his slider made nice progress in 2010 and ended the year in AA. I would expect that Kelly's fastball is rather straight given his hits/9 rate at the lower levels despite his velo. But, like I said, he appeared to take a step forward in the second half, so maybe something clicked while the Rangers were watching.
Josh Boyd had this to say about him:
"We have a lot of history with this kid going back to junior college," said Josh Boyd, the Rangers' director of pro scouting. "We like his arm. He touches 95, 96 in relief and shows flashes of a power breaking ball. We like the strikes and feel there is some upside there."
Texas seemed to give up on Moscoso after his first bad year, ever. That's tougher both the club and player when you are on the back 40 and 26. However I still think he is a big league pitcher, and happy to see him hook on with another club who he might actually get a chance to pitch for and burn his former team from the back of the rotation or at least as a middle/long reliever. He should come back with a new pitch from his nice LVBP season and I'm interested to see how he does in ST (and how Oakland handles him).