How Will Steven Moya Perform in CPBL?

On January 24, 2024, the TSG Hawks signed foreign hitter Steven Moya, who had played for the Detroit Tigers from 2014 to 2016 and in the NPB from 2018 to 2021.

During the 2024 spring training, Moya posted a slash line of .333/.410/.515 over nine games, ranking him as the sixth-best player in terms of OPS with at least 30 plate appearances.

However, the question on everyone’s mind is whether Steven Moya’s elite spring training performance will carry over to the regular season. In the 2022 season, eight foreign hitters joined the league, but most did not complete a full season due to injury or underperformance.

Steven Moya vs Xavier Batista

Moya spent around four seasons in the NPB, and one player with a similar career trajectory is Xavier Batista, who played three seasons in Japan during the same period. Batista’s slash line over those three years was .257/.333/.533 with a BB% of 9.9% and a K% of 26.8%, while Moya’s was .249/.286/.423 with a BB% of 4.7% and a K% of 21.6%.

Despite Moya’s low on-base percentage due to his low walk rate, his strikeout rate is moderately lower than Batista’s. Batista’s high strikeout rate during his brief stint in Taiwan did not yield the expected offensive output, leading the Fubon Guardians to release him after just 18 games. However, Moya’s batting statistics and plate discipline are notably better compared to his career numbers.

Similar CPBL Performance Like Francisco Peña?

Another comparison can be made with Francisco Peña, who played in the big leagues from 2014 to 2018 and spent most of his career in AAA before joining the CPBL. Peña’s stats in AAA are similar to Moya’s, but Peña’s plate discipline is superior, evidenced by his identical strikeout numbers despite having twice the plate appearances.

Both players began their CPBL careers at the age of 32. Peña’s stats in Taiwan may provide insight into what to expect from Moya during the regular season: a league-average player with decent slugging.

As the first foreign batter in two years and with an impressive spring training performance, Steven Moya will undoubtedly attract attention as the season progresses. However, his success will depend heavily on his plate discipline when facing CPBL pitchers. He will need to rely on his hitting prowess to compensate for his low walk rates and high strikeout rates.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Chen Wei-yin just signed with the Long Island Ducks of Atlantic League. If he pitches well there, maybe a CPBL team could sign him or draft him.

    • I really hope to see Chen Wei-Yin return to Taiwan and play in the CPBL, but I get the feeling that he and Yoh Daikan don’t really want to play pro-ball in Taiwan.

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