Reyes Moronta’s Big Arm Intrigues Giants

Reyes Moronta (Photo by Bill Mitchell) Reyes Moronta (Photo by Bill Mitchell)

SAN FRANCISCO—Two numbers jump off of Reyes Moronta’s stat line for 2016: 93 and 59. The righthander struck out 93 batters in 59 innings for high Class A San Jose.

In explaining why the Giants added Moronta to their 40-man roster last month, protecting him from being taken in the Rule 5 draft, general manager Bobby Evans offered two more numbers: 98 and 99. As in, the mph readings from radar guns that Moronta’s fastball often hits.

“He can deliver it,” Evans said. “The high velo is compelling.”

A 23-year-old native of the Dominican Republic, Reyes signed with the Giants as an international free agent in September 2010.

His strikeout numbers this past season were in line with what he’d done in the previous two years: 30 strikeouts in 19.1 innings in the Rookie-level Arizona in 2014 and 64 more punchouts in 48.2 innings for low Class A Augusta in 2015.

In 208.2 minor league innings, Moronta has fanned 263 hitters.

“He’s continuing to mature in terms of how to pitch,” Evans said. “He’s not a guy that you’d expect to impact your 2017 club, but he’s ready to move to the next level.”

Outside of a six-start stint with short-season Salem-Keizer in 2013, Reyes has been a reliever throughout his pro career. Evans said Reyes figures to remain a bullpen member for a few reasons, one of which is he has had Tommy John surgery.

Listed at 6-foot, 175 pounds, Moronta gave up 43 hits and 20 walks in his 59 innings with San Jose in 2016. He went 0-3, 2.59 and recorded 14 saves.

Evans believes it’s time for Moronta to begin progressing through the system.

Given how hard Moronta throws and the fact that he has rebounded from Tommy John surgery, Evans is optimistic about Moronta’s future.

“It’s hard to come back from Tommy John alone,” Evans said, “much less get back to the position that he’s in now. It gives you a lot of hope.”


The Giants added two other pitchers to their 40-man roster Nov. 18: righthanders Chase Johnson and Dan Slania, each of whom Evans believes can be in the rotation or the bullpen.

The Giants added two position players to the 40-man: infielder Miguel Gomez and Orlando Calixte, a former member of the Royals’ organization whom the Giants signed as a free agent Nov. 11. Evans said Calixte will compete for a utility job with the big club in spring training.

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