Prospect Moldenhauer smacks another HR; makes strides at 1B

Former University of Texas star Russell Moldenhauer is doing well at the plate again this season as the Nationals try to find a home for him at first base.

Sunday, he hit a two-run shot and finished with three RBIs in NY/Penn league short-season Auburn Doubleday’s 10-4 victory over State College.

Moldenhauer is batting .312 with six doubles, two homers and 14 RBIs in 16 games since the season began June 17.

Auburn Doubledays manager Gary Cathcart said the 23-year old has been working on his fielding skills at first base.

“We are really working with him on all the details around first base,” Cathcart said. “He is a little bit against the eight-ball because he is maybe 5-foot-10. He is a little bulldog and reminds me of a shorter version of Travis Snider (Bluejays just promoted again) who I had in Toronto as a first round pick.”

“As a first baseman you like to have that big, rangy target over there, so he has that working against him. But, we are going to see. I am playing him every day over there (at first base).”

Cathcart said Moldenhauer, as he showed again Sunday with the long ball, is making progress.

“A lot of good stuff from him so far,” Cathcart noted. “He is really working at it. He will have to work a lot harder than other guys because he doesn’t have the 6-foot-3 frame and the long arms, so he has to really work to improve his range around the base.”

Cathcart said they want to see if Moldenhauer has what it takes defensively, because his offense is top notch.

“We got to find out because he can really swing the bat,” Cathcart said. “You know, there are no DH’s in the national league, so we have to make every effort we can to see if (Moldenhauer) can handle it over there.”

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