Double-A Harrisburg Senators first baseman Tyler Moore continues to make outstanding progress up the Nationals chain. His power numbers have drawn rave reviews and he has been a solid contributor to the first-place Senators as they venture into the divisional series at Richmond this weekend.
Unfortunately, Metro Bank Park is under water so the entire best-of-five series will have to be played entirely in Virginia.
“We had to evacuate two days ago,” Moore said. “They were showing us pictures of the ballpark. It was completely under water, just unbelievable.”
So now Moore and his teammates must concentrate on winning three games on the road. It is not an impossible challenge, but it certainly will be difficult.
“We have had up and down results in (Richmond),” Moore said. “We have played pretty good on the road. It is definitely an advantage to play at home. But we don’t make any excuses. We have to find a way to win. This team has played us good all year. We knew what to expect from the playoffs. It is a different attitude. We have our goals set and they do to. We have to find a way to overcome what has happened to us.”
The couple of days without games has also been an advantage for the players.
“We feel good. The two days of rest has helped our legs. We played 142 games to get to this point so we are anxious to get started,” he said.
Moore is looking forward to winning the Eastern League title and then a busy and exciting off season, both professionally and personally. He may play winter ball in Puerto Rico and is getting married in December.
Several Nationals have played winter ball in the past in Puerto Rico, and if it happens, Moore is excited for the opportunity.
“It does broaden your horizons, seeing different pitchers and a different environment will help my game,” Moore said.
With another great season wrapping up, the possibility of promotion to Triple-A Syracuse has crossed his mind. Obviously, Chiefs first baseman Chris Marrero is getting his time with the Nationals in September. You never know what will happen at the position in the offseason and spring training.
There is nothing set in stone, but Moore has said the Nationals have approached him about playing outfield at instructional league once the season is over.
“I am pumped about playing in the outfield,” Moore said. “This will be my first time. I am excited about it. They want to see if I can play the position.”
Nationals outfield coordinator Tony Tarasco floated the idea of playing in the outfield to Moore. Moore will have 10 days at instructional league in Florida to try it out.
It is just an idea, and with Marrero playing first base either in D.C. or in Syracuse, having Moore diversify his game with experience in the outfield could be another way to get his bat to the big leagues sooner.
Overall, Moore feels he has made solid progress on the field and at the plate in Harrisburg.
“I feel good about this season, certainly,” Moore said. “I would like to get my average above .270. Our team winning and finishing in first place was a big accomplishment. I am very proud of that. It has been very rewarding to build a winning team. But I want to be a more complete hitter, work on my plate discipline and swinging at strikes.”
Moore has shown what he can do, slamming 62 homers and 201 RBIs in the past two seasons, and the chance that he could also play the outfield for the Nationals is another clear example of just how important a piece he is to the franchise’s future.