First baseman Tyler Moore has been named the Nationals Minor League Player of the Year.
Moore hit a franchise-record 31 homers with 111 RBI, 43 doubles, 78 runs and a .269 batting average in 129 games, guiding the Potomac Nationals to the Carolina League title. He led the League in doubles, home runs, RBI, extra-base hits (77), total bases (277) and slugging percentage (.552).
Moore says he is thrilled to be honored with the award.
"I feel blessed finishing strong like that, the way the season ended with a championship," Moore said. "I am humbled. I can't believe it. It is a real honor."
There was a time at the beginning of the season when he was struggling at the plate and batting just .195 that honors, awards and championships probably felt a world away. But Moore figured out what was wrong and got out of his early slump.
"I was just over analyzing everything at the plate," Moore said. "My swing, my hands, my mental approach was off. I was thinking too much and wasn't being confident. I told myself to go back to the way things were before and just go hit now and stop messing around."
Moore raised his batting average over 70 points during his run, which coincided with a huge second half for the P-Nats and a berth in the Carolina League post season.
Moore said the atmosphere in Winston-Salem for the start of the finals was electric, with a brand new ballpark and big crowds for Single-A.
Potomac split the first two games, then won two in Woodbridge to secure the crown.
"It was really fun. The intensity was up for each ballgame. They really wanted to win it, but we took three in a row. We had a lot of good prospects called up throughout the season. But the guys that came in filled in very well. Not one guy was better than anyone else."
Moore will be at the Nats/Phillies game Tuesday to accept his award, and then he'll head to Viera for three weeks of instructional league competition.
Moore will then head home and try to get the job he has had the last couple of years.
The job? Pretty amazing and certainly non-baseball related.
The last two offseasons, Moore has been working show calves and cows for a rancher back home in Mississippi.
Moore is hoping to get that same job again.
Wonder if a Carolina MVP award, team minor league POY award, and the Mills Cup will help in getting that job back?