If it was only about talent and roster spots, Moises Sierra could be in the big leagues right now.
But it’s not about getting to the show: It’s about creating a major league career. That comes through consistency and maturity. And Sierra is slowly but surely learning those lessons.
The 24-year-old right fielder had a plan Sunday afternoon and executed it each time at the plate. He finished the day going 3 for 5 with an RBI and one run scored in an 11-6 victory by the Buffalo Bisons over the Charlotte Knights at Coca-Cola Field.
For the season, Sierra is batting .326 with 18 runs batted in.
But it’s not just about the numbers. It’s about being consistent.
“He’s a very talented player and really brings a lot to the table in all aspects; defensively, offensively, he’s got power, he can hit for average,” said Bisons manager Marty Brown, who also had Sierra on his club last year in Las Vegas.
“It’s a maturity thing where he’s consistent with his plan. He knows there’s a proper way to play the game. It goes off of common sense more than anything. Some people look at it differently. So he’s really trying to just mature his game. That’s all. He has the ability right now to be in the big leagues … but it’s about being consistent with his game plan every day.”
Has Brown seen signs of maturation?
“I see it. But I see times of immaturity as well,” Brown said. He’s 24 years old with all that talent and people telling him he’s good all the time. And he is good, but not all the time. Because he makes mistakes. But consistency is what takes you to the big leagues for a long period of time. You can get to the big leagues on just plain talent. A lot of guys do but we’re trying to make him get there and stay there.”
Sierra was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2007. One of the two top prospects on the Bisons this season (along with Anthony Gose), Sierra made his major league debut last July 31. He was part of the club’s September call-up as well and hit .224 in 49 games for the Blue Jays.
Sierra kicked off this season helping his native Dominican Republic win the World Baseball Classic Championship. He made a highlight reel catch in a semifinal win over the Netherlands where he dived into the stands to make a catch.
He’s played well for the Bisons, making spectacular grabs and throws in right field and producing at the plate.
“I try to concentrate and help my team,” Sierra said. “I had a couple of good swings. That’s all you need, you know, to swing good. The thing is you’ve got to continue to work and that’s the key. Work.”
The key for the Herd on Sunday was better at-bats. They scored 11 runs on 14 hits and went 7 for 15 with runners in scoring position — a world of improvement over their 2-for-12 showing in the home stand opener Saturday night.
Charlotte took a 3-0 lead, but the Bisons answered with a four-run third inning. The Knights again took a lead, this time on a two-out, three-run homer by Blake Tekotte, in the fourth. But the Herd again answered, tying the game, 6-6, in the bottom of the fourth when Jim Negrych and Luis Jimenez each had two out, RBI singles.
A solo shot to center field from Ryan Langerhans in the fifth gave the Herd the lead for good. They pulled away by adding two runs in the seventh and two more in the eighth.
Negrych went 3 for 5 with two RBIs and three runs scored, raising his batting average to .398. Jimenez went 2 for 3 and drove in three runs. Josh Thole and Langerhans also had multi-hit days.
“I think everybody had a better plan,” Brown said. “We had discussions about how to approach these situations and a lot of it’s mental more than physical. … The guys that have that plan going from the on-deck circle up to the plate and follow through with it are more successful than not. It was a good day.”