ARLINGTON -- Steven Moya was an intriguing name relatively buried on the Tigers' list of prospects before his breakout Spring Training drew attention. His performance since then has landed him a spot in next month's MLB All-Star Futures Game.
Moya was named an outfielder on the World Team, and former top pick and Class A Lakeland right-hander Jake Thompson was named to the U.S. team.
Moya's selection is the latest big step in what has been a rapid rise up the ranks. Scouts have long viewed him as a boom-or-bust prospect, his success hinging on how his big swing adapts to advanced pitching as well as how healthy he could stay after several injury-shortened seasons. So far this season, the signs suggest he's making the adjustment.
Moya's 16 home runs entering Tuesday are already a career best, but part of that resulted from an adjustment from the pitcher-friendly Florida State League to the smaller ballparks of the Eastern League. The more encouraging signs are in the percentages.
With 18 doubles, Moya is one off his career high, resulting in a career-best .804 OPS. His strikeout rate has tempered slightly, though his ratio of 82 strikeouts to just eight walks remains a concern.
More surprisingly, his first season under new Erie manager Lance Parrish has brought out some aggressiveness on the basepaths. His 12 stolen bases in 16 attempts already doubles his career best.
At 22, Moya still has room for growth. He entered the year ranked 20th on MLB.com's list of top Tigers prospects but is expected to jump up the midseason list.
The 20-year-old Thompson, Detroit's second-round pick in 2012, has matured from a nice high school prospect into a blossoming young pitcher. He has a 6-2 record and 2.43 ERA in 13 starts, and has allowed just 53 hits over 66 2/3 innings, with 24 walks and 66 strikeouts.
He ranked third on the list of Tigers' prospects going into the season.