BOWIE, Md. - Harrisburg Senators first baseman Tyler Moore loves this time of year. July and August seem to be the months that the 24-year old out of Mississippi State heats up at the plate.
In 2010, Moore shook off a slow start to crank out 31 homers and 111 RBIs for the Single-A Potomac Nationals.
This season, the 16th-round selection in the 2008 draft has been more consistent than not. Coming off that Player of the Year honor last season, Moore is batting .273 with a league-leading 24 homers and 69 RBIs in 101 games in the Eastern League.
Moore has had six hits in his last four games, including a double, two homers and four RBIs. Chris Marrero and Moore represent the top first base prospects in the Nationals’ system.
Harrisburg Senators hitting coach Troy Gingrich said one reason for Moore’s production has been that his patience at the plate continues to improve, and he doesn’t go after too many bad balls. It is something Gingrich has worked on with a lot of their hitters, including top prospect Bryce Harper.
“Tyler has done a great job carrying over his game from last year to this year,” Gingrich said. “Even at this time of year, he is better than he was in April.
“The adjustment he has made of laying off pitches in the dirt, kind of the same thing as Harper, where he would get in 2-0 counts and chase a slider and now its 2-1 instead of 3-0. Moore has helped himself by getting more walks. That has helped to raise his average, too. When he gets the barrel and swings at strikes, it goes a long ways.”
Moore said part of his mindset is to try to not do too much in the batters’ box, not going for the long ball with every swing.
“Sometimes I get long (in my swing) and chase pitches,” Moore said. “It is part of the development process and I have Gingrich and (Tony) Beasley here to help me out. You can’t be long and try to hit home runs. You have to be short and let the home runs come. That has been a big thing for me.”
Even if Moore says he doesn’t go for home runs, he certainly knows how to get them to come to him, with 55 home runs and 180 RBI in the last 230 games.