One month after graduating from Park Hill, Dalton Moats realized a childhood dream. His hometown team, the Royals, picked him in the 33rd round of the MLB Draft in June.
By SAM MCDOWELL
The Kansas City Star
In mid-July, though, Moats spurned the Royals’ best offer and headed to Coastal Carolina, where he will continue his pitching career. That, too, has been a long-term goal.
“Having a decision like that is something you always want to happen,” Moats said. “Getting to go pro or getting to pitch in college, you can’t go wrong either way.”
About the only thing to top Moats’ summer is the spring season that preceded it.
In his final year at Park Hill, Moats compiled a 5-0 record with a 0.64 earned-run average. He struck out more than half the batters he faced — 103 of 197 — in 55 innings. Opponents hit only .159 against him. And he compiled those numbers while routinely facing Park Hill’s stiffest competition of the year.
He is The Star’s All-Metro Baseball Player of the Year.
“Knowing they wanted the ball in my hands against the best, that motivated me even more,” Moats said. “I was the guy they looked to. Hopefully I can be that guy (in college).”
A left-hander, Moats has a four-pitch arsenal. He can touch 90 mph with his fastball, but it’s his precise control of all four pitches that makes him dangerous on the mound.
When he wasn’t on the mound, Moats played in center field. Coach Greg Reynolds called him the team’s best defensive outfielder the last three seasons.
Moats plans to focus solely on his pitching career in college.
“I’m just going to go out there with the right mind-set and compete and try to get better,” Moats said. “There (are) still some things I think I can do to become a better pitcher.”