Double-A Harrisburg first baseman Tyler Moore is coming off another 31 home run season, something you don't see very often. Moore has been the most consistent long ball hitter in the Nationals' system the last two seasons, totaling an incredible 62 round trippers and 201 RBIs. National Web sites have taken notice. Moore has been named back to back MiLB.com Nationals Organization Player of the Year.
At the end of last season, the Nationals started to experiment with Moore in the outfield. Moore said he has had experience at other positions and can play in the outfield or infield. He wants to become versatile so the Nationals have the option to use him on various parts of the diamond, similar to Michael Morse.
"(I am) just trying to be able to play different positions," Moore said. "Mostly, I want to be as solid as I can at first base, my primary position. I have been working at little bit at third base and outfield. I want to be a solid as I can so I can help this ball club one day."
The 25-year old Moore concentrated in 2011 on improving his foot work and defense at first base. He continues to focus on that aspect, with guidance from infield coordinator Jeff Garber, outfield coordinator Tony Tarasco and third base coach Bo Porter. Moore knows this will enhance his ticket to D.C.
"It is another part of your game that doesn't need slacking off," Moore said. "That is how you get in the lineup. You have to be able to hit but you also got to be able to play somewhere. (So far) it has been going good. Garber has been a big part of my foot work. He has been with me since day one. Tony has helped me out in the outfield, he is a big help."
During the offseason, Moore said they have focused is work primarily in left field. Porter concentrated on repetition of fundamentals in the outfield with Moore, a position he had never played in the past.
"I worked with Porter in Houston this offseason," Moore continued. "I am trying to see the flight of the ball and reading stuff, knowing where to throw it, being good at the ordinary things."
It is likely that Moore's track will continue with a Triple-A debut in Syracuse to begin this season. Moore said judging by the depth he sees around his this week in Viera, Fla., this team is going to win at several levels again this upcoming campaign.
"The team is exciting to be around," Moore said. "It is a bunch of young, talented guys. Every position you have some good talent there. Then our pitching staff is just unbelievable, especially the starters. We are going to try to make a push and expect to win this year. That is what everyone has been preaching."
Moore saw Chris Marrero get a shot last season and hopes that some time this season he will get an opportunity to play for the Nationals.
"If I can come up and Davey (Johnson) feels like I can help the ball club, that would be great," Moore said. "I am here to chip in. I realize it is not about me, so I am just seeing what is going to happen. It is exciting."