Stanford boasted a star-studded lineup last season. It featured a plethora of talent and quality performers, with five players going on to hear their names called in the 2023 MLB draft. The experience and talent allowed Malcolm Moore to fly under the radar as the team’s starting catcher last season.
This year, it’s a different situation. Moore enters his sophomore season with high expectations. He’s Stanford’s top returning hitter and figures to serve as a team leader with plenty of newcomers.
Moore also is drawing interest in preparation for the 2024 MLB draft. Scouts project the sophomore catcher as a potential first-round pick in the draft.
Moore was a well-regarded prospect out of the California high school ranks in 2022 and has continued to refine his skills to put himself in a good position as a draft-eligible sophomore. Despite the draft attention, Moore remains focused on his development and Stanford’s success.
“I haven’t really focused on the player I’ve become,” Moore said. “You don’t need to step back and look at your accomplishments because we haven’t done anything yet. We want to win a national championship this year. We are looking to be really good this year, and that’s what we want really bad.”
Moore is a 6-foot-2, 216-pound left-handed hitting catcher who hits for plenty of raw power. He is a quality hitter who uses a unique, open stance with his hands low until he loads in anticipation of hitting the pitch.
Moore showed quality skills at the plate with respectable plate discipline. Scouts rave about his potential and makeup.
“The biggest strength in my game right now is my ability to hit,” Moore said. “That’s always been a strength of mine, and people started to respect that last year.”
Defensively, Moore showed solid skills as Stanford’s everyday catcher last year. He displays athleticism, quality arm strength and a quick release behind the plate.
Moore made notable strides at catcher last season and has worked on refining his tools in preparation for his sophomore year.
“Something I’ve been working on a lot and focus on to make it a strength is trying to improve my catching,” Moore said. “I came in last year and everything was faster. Coming in, I knew I needed to work on that. I’ve tried to be a rock back there for our pitching staff. I want to be a leader, and that is something I’m working on.”
Moore provided an immediate impact last year. He hit .311 with 20 doubles, 15 home runs and 63 RBIs in 257 at-bats. This season, Moore will anchor Stanford’s lineup, as the Cardinal tries to have another deep postseason run.
Stanford is one of the premier programs in college baseball, advancing to the College World Series in each of the last three years. After high expectations with a veteran team last season, Stanford’s roster has many new players expected to contribute this spring.
Stanford isn’t worried about outside expectations and remains committed to capturing the program’s first national title since 1988.
“We are the underdogs, and that’s what I’ve been my whole life,” Moore said. “I really think teams are going to look past us this year. I’m really excited for that. I want to see those rankings come out, and I don’t want us to be in those rankings. I want people to think we aren’t anything, so when we come out, we can go out and show them and play gritty.”
Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for nine years. He has interviewed 518 of the top draft prospects in that period, including four No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com, The Arizona Republic and The Dallas Morning News, have quoted his work, while he has appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.