Peter Mooney spent the season kicking butt at triple-A for the Miami Marlins, but never got his callup.
This month, we’re finishing up our offseason-long series on every player to appear in the Miami Marlins system in 2018. Today, parts 269 and 270 turn our focus to shortstop Peter Mooney and pitcher Merandy Gonzalez.
Peter R. Mooney is a 5’8″, 168 lb. left-handed batting and right-handed throwing shortstop from Loxahatchee, Florida, population 26,455. This area of Palm Beach County area has produced no major leaguers, although infield local Tyler Frank was selected in the second round in 2018 by the Tampa Bay Rays.
Mooney was born on August 19th, 1990, and has two brothers who have also been drafted, Marcus, 25, and Michael, 30. Peter, who spent his age-27 season mostly with the triple-A New Orleans Baby Cakes, in the Pacific Coast League, completed his ninth professional season. Follow Peter on Twitter @PMooney7.
Peter was chosen three times in the draft after attending Seminole Ridge HS. First by the Chicago Cubs in the 37th round in 2009. After a season with the Palm Beach State College Panthers, in which he hit .356 and stole 13-of-14 bases, he was taken in the 46th round by the St. Louis Cardinals.
Again turning down a professional club, Mooney spent a year with the University of South Carolina in the Southeastern Conference, hitting .280 in 69 games at shortstop. He was then chosen in the 21st round in 2011 by the Toronto Blue Jays, with the 649th pick overall. Players taken with the 649th pick have gone on to major league careers seven times, with the best performance by Rich Yett (1980, Minnesota Twins, 1.3 career WAR).
After coming to terms, Mooney split his first professional season between the rookie-level GCL Blue Jays, in the Gulf Coast League, the rookie-level Bluefield Blue Jays, in the rookie-level Appalachian League, and the full-season-A level, with the Lansing Lugnuts in the Midwest League. Between those three clubs, he only played in 24 contests, and put up a .286/.403/.491 slashline. He drew 19 walks and only struck out 15 times, for a 0.79 K/BB. For contrast, most prospects are usually between 2 and 4.
After missing a season, Mooney spent 2013 with the Dunedin Blue Jays, in the high-A Florida State League. In 80 contests, he slashed .244/.365/.321 with 47 walks and 38 strikeouts. He took 323 chances at shortstop, and finished with a .969 fielding percentage.
In 2014, Mooney played 54 games in Dunedin, and also made his double-A debut with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in the Eastern League for nine games. Between the two, he hit .223/.317/.321 in 63 appearances. After the season, the Blue Jays granted his release.
But Mooney didn’t want to stop playing, and instead signed on with the independent New Jersey Jackals, in the Can-Am League. In a then-career-high 95 games, he slashed out a .263/.372/.350 line, and drew 58 walks to 32 K’s, a K/BB rate of 0.55. The Miami Marlins signed him to a deal through free agency on December 28th, 2015.
Mooney played 119 games for the Jacksonville Suns in 2016, in the double-A Southern League. He continued to show dependable patience at the plate, with 41 walks and 44 strikeouts, while slashing .258/.331/.333. Defensively, he was deployed nearly evenly between shortstop and second base. His .977 fielding percentage in 60 games as a shortstop was dwarfed by his .996 mark in 51 games at second. For his efforts, Mooney was named to the SL All-Star Team.
In 2017, Mooney joined the Baby Cakes for 116 games, and slashed an underwhelming .213/.290/.308. His defense, as always, was quite dependable. He turned in a .970 fielding percentage in 96 games at shortstop. Here’s Mooney in the Arizona Fall League, courtesy of Baseball Census.
2018 would see Mooney rock a .364 batting average in Spring Training with the Miami Marlins, as he appeared in almost every game. Those figures are nearly too good to ignore, but for some reason, the Marlins instead chose to employ Yadiel Rivera at the major league level.
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Mooney played most of the season back with the Baby Cakes, with a four-game rehab assignment with the Jumbo Shrimp. He played 75 games in total for New Orleans, collecting multiple hits in 18 of them. On July 15th, in an 11-1 victory against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, Mooney batted eighth and hit two singles and a three-run homer.
Mooney went on to his most impressive offensive season overall, with a .297/.374/.423 slashline. On the other side of the plate, he turned in his usual defensive excellence, with a .971 fielding percentage over 92 games at shortstop. After waiting for his well-deserved call all season long, he elected to pursue free agency on November 2nd. He signed with the Colorado Rockies on November 29th.
Two days ago, Mooney was officially assigned to the PCL’s Albuquerque Isotopes, which is Colorado’s triple-A club. Marlin Maniac would like to wish Mooney good luck going forward.
Check back here later today for a look at Merandy Gonzalez.