Scouting Mets Prospect #24: Scott Moviel

Moviel bounced back from injury in 2009

The New York Mets selected right-hander Scott Moviel in the second round of the 2007 draft. Moviel battled back from injury in 2009 and remains a high value prospect who could be another young pitcher to spend valuable time in Double-A this upcoming season. Expectations are rising for Moviel and he is pitching with the confidence to back it up.

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Vital Statistics
Name: Scott Moviel
DOB: May 7, 1988
Height: 6'11"
Weight: 235
Throws: Right
Bats: Right
Status: 2nd Round (2007) – St. Edward HS (OH)


The 2009 season got off to a disappointing start for Scott Moviel. Back in January, the right-hander underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee that knocked him for nearly three months. Originally, Moviel's anticipated target return date was late April, but he reinjured the knee while rehabbing and was set back until early July.

It was a bumpy first few starts for the right-hander. He went 0-4 with a 5.67 ERA in his first six starts back, but rebounded with a 3-1 record and 2.53 ERA over his last seven starts. His strikeout ratio went up, his walks went down and he credits the turnaround to confidence gained through close work with St. Lucie pitching coach Phil Regan.

"My time in St. Lucie was good. When I first got there it was tough because I was still in rehabbing. But Phil Regan helped me get my control back and helped me out," said Moviel. "I just got my confidence back which I really needed coming out of rehab and only getting to play half a season this year. I feel like I achieved a lot in St. Lucie."

"When you're injured, it definitely takes a lot of mental toughness to trust and believe that you're fine," he continued. "The cartilage is gone from my knee now, but once it started feeling good and I put the knee out of my mind, I started to pick it up. It was definitely something I had to overcome and I feel like I ended up finishing well."

Moviel had one start in the Florida State League in 2008, but being thrust back into the talented league coming off an injury (and two brief rehab starts in the Gulf Coast League), he knew he had challenges to meet. Following his stretch of winless starts, he recalled the start of the 2008 season when he lost his first four decisions.

"I had trouble in the beginning with Savannah, but once I figured out the hitters it became easier. I feel like it was the same way in St. Lucie," Moviel explained. "I tried using those same tips from Savannah, but the Florida State League hitters were already in full swing and I had to adapt to that. I feel like I figured out the High-A level and how to get my six or seven innings and get wins."

He carried that momentum into the Arizona Fall League. There, he was able to log valuable, additional innings. The numbers were solid (1-0, 2.45 ERA, 9 K, 8 BB in 14 2/3 IP), but he left feeling even more self-assured in his ability after facing higher levels of competition.

"I had the attitude that if I did well in the fall league," he said. "That I'm pitching for next year and going into spring training with a big positive in my back pocket. I went in with a confident attitude and thought I had a lot of success there."

"It was an important experience for next season because success there shows that you can handle bigger competition."

Year

Team

W-L

SV

IP

Hits

BB

K

ERA

2009

St. Lucie

4-5

0

64.1

61

24

46

3.92

2009

GCL

0-0

0

9.0

10

0

10

1.00

2008

St. Lucie

1-0

0

5.0

2

1

2

0.00

2008

Savannah

9-8

0

120.0

128

36

82

4.43

2007

GCL

0-2

0

40.0

45

11

37

3.38



Repertoire: Fastball, Slider, Curveball, Changeup

Fastball: Moviel's velocity was all over the map in 2008, but he settled down at 90-92 MPH last season with naturally running movement. He previously touched 93 MPH, but pitches better and generates movement pitching a tick or two slower. His height and extension benefits his fastball as it can jump on hitters, and he is able to locate it on the corners. He tends to throw his fastball early in the count to set up his secondary pitches, but will rely on it to induce contact as well. He flashes a four-seam fastball as a get-over pitcher though prefers the movement of his two-seam fastball.

Other Pitches: The most important element to Moviel's secondary pitches is his newly arrived, rapidly improving slider. He turned to the slider shortly after he returned from injury and it was an instant hit. He throws the slider 82-85 MPH with late bite that allows Moviel to rely on it in two-strike counts as a put away pitch. He did not throw a slider prior to this season, but already demonstrates very good command. Moviel continues to focus on his changeup which he throws in the mid-70s with solid fade and drop. He tinkered with grips, finally settling on one during the Arizona Fall League that has given him the confidence to use it in any count. Before 2009, the curveball was Moviel's top breaking pitch but it has taken a back seat while he rediscovers his feel for it. He will return to it in the future, yet for now he wants to establish his slider before relying on his curveball again.

Pitching: Mechanics play a significant role in Moviel's success. Given his height, it is easy for his motion to get out of sorts if one part is off. The knee injury, incidentally, forced him to key on his mechanics which paid off upon his return. He has little difficulty keeping the ball down when he gets proper extension, otherwise his pitches stay up and flatten out. He works quickly, is not adverse to contact, and the rise of his slider has given him a bonafide strikeout pitch.

Projection: Adding a fourth pitch will go a long way to Moviel's success in the future. His curveball alone would not have given him the depth to breaking through at the highest level. However, pairing two breaking balls with enough movement and velocity on his fastball should be enough to get him a big league look. He lacks a true plus pitch which could limit him when the time comes, giving him the look of a back of the rotation starter.

ETA: 2012. The knee injury did not set Moviel back too far. He should return to St. Lucie in the spring with a very good chance of getting to Binghamton sometime in the second half of the year. There is no reason to rush Moviel who will benefit from two more seasons on the farm.

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