Maxwell Anthony Moroff
- Bats Both, Throws Right
- Height 5' 10", Weight 195 lb.
- High School Trinity Prep School
- Debut July 31, 2016
Max Moroff made the majors in 2016.
Moroff played in the 2005 Little League World Series. He stole 80 bases in 80 tries in high school. After hitting .458 as a high school junior and .408 with a .594 OBP as a senior, the Pittsburgh Pirates took him in the 16th round of the 2012 amateur draft, one pick ahead of Brian Ellington. The scout was Nick Presto. He turned down a scholarship offer to the University of Central Florida to sign.
Max made his pro debut with the GCL Pirates and hit .343/.471/.483 in 23 games, drawing 17 walks and fielding .958 at SS for a strong start. He hit .154 in the postseason. With the 2013 West Virginia Power, he was in a full-season league one year after graduating from high school. He hit .233/.335/.345 with 65 walks and 75 runs. He was just 8-for-16 in swipes after his great amateur career on that front. He fielded .933 as their main shortstop. In the postseason, he was 2 for 8 with two walks.He tied teammates Josh Bell, Dilson Herrera and Walker Gourley for 8th in the South Atlantic League in runs and was 5th in walks (between Tony Renda and Terrance Gore). Among Pirates farmhands, he tied for first in runs and was third in walks (behind Stetson Allie and Matt Hague).
With the 2014 Bradenton Marauders, he moved to 2B, Adam Frazier manning SS. He batted .244/.324/.340 with 30 doubles, 6 triples, 54 walks and 21 steals in 36 tries while fielding .980 at his new spot. He was 1 for 7 in the postseason. He led Florida State League second basemen in fielding percentage, games played, putouts (239), assists (395) and double plays (88). Among Pirate minor leaguers, he was second in doubles, one behind Chris McGuiness, and he tied for 4th in triples. He tied for 8th in the FSL in triples and tied Nathan Orf for 5th in doubles.
Moroff really turned it up a notch in 2015. His batting line for the Altoona Curve was .293/.374/.409, with 79 runs, 28 doubles, 6 triples and 70 walks. He led Eastern League second basemen in fielding percentage (.978), assists (330) and double plays (76). He set a club record for hits by a switch-hitter (153) in a season and his 30-game on-base streak led the EL and was three shy of the Curve record. He was 9th in the EL in average (between Mike Tauchman and Josh Rodriguez), 6th in OBP (between Bell and Bryson Myles), led in runs (one ahead of Wynton Bernard), tied Devin Harris for 7th in doubles, tied for 4th in triples and was 3rd in walks (behind Yandy Diaz and Max Stassi). In the 2015 Eastern League All-Star Game, he led off and played 2B for the West. He lined out against William Cuevas in the first but singled off Shane Carle in the third to set up a run and drew a walk from Eric Ruth in the 5th before being replaced by Frazier. At season's end, he was named the EL All-Star second baseman. Among Pirate farmhands, he was second in runs (7 behind Keon Broxton), 3rd in hits (after Austin Meadows and Bell), tied Elvis Escobar for 4th in doubles, tied for 7th in triples and led in walks (4 more than Broxton). He was named Pittsburgh's Minor League Player of the Year, beating out much better prospects like Meadows and Bell. The Bucs added him to their 40-man roster.
2016 was not as good for Moroff. He struggled to find a position with the AAA Indianapolis Indians, backing up Alen Hanson at 2B and Gift Ngoepe at SS and splitting 3B with others, such as Jason Rogers and Pedro Florimon. He was hitting only .229/.360/.368 with the walks (65 in 101 G) clearly being his big weapon. He was called up to the majors when the Pirates briefly needed an extra bat after trading away Mark Melancon and before Ryan Vogelsong was due back from the DL. The 10th rookie to debut for the Pirates that year, he batted for Juan Nicasio in his first game on July 31st and struck out against Will Smith of the Milwaukee Brewers. The result was the same in his only other plate appearance, on August 3rd, as he whiffed against Ian Krol of the Atlanta Braves. He was sent down as planned when Vogelsong was activated the next day. He finished at .230/.367/.349 in 133 games for the AAA Indians.
Moroff returned to Pittsburgh for a longer sojourn in 2017 when he played 56 games, hitting .200 with 3 homers and 21 RBIs. He split his time between second base, shortstop and third base. In 2018, he played second and third in 26 games, hitting .186 with 3 homers and 9 RBIs. He spent most of those two season in AAA with Indianapolis, hitting .254 in 51 games the first year, and .223 in 74 games the second. However, he showed some solid power in 2017, with 10 doubles and 13 homers, leading to a slugging percentage of .519. That fell to .393 in 2018 however. He was a utility infielder the first of those years, and added playing time in the outfield the second.
- 2016 Pirates Media Guide