Double-A Harrisburg Senators first baseman Tyler Moore has continued his solid play all season, seeking to match his defense with the power he displayed last season on the way to the Carolina League Player of the Year honor.
No one will forget his amazing run in 2010, where he ended up with 31 homers and 111 RBIs, leading the Single-A Potomac Nationals to the Mills Cup championship title.
This season Moore is batting .254 with 23 doubles, four triples, 18 homers and 58 RBIs in 87 games. His slugging percentage is .506 and his OPS is .791.
I caught up with Moore last week following a 3-for-4 game with two doubles and three RBIs. He was pleased with his work at the plate, but knows it is a constant battle.
"Yes, it is feeling good," Moore said. "You have good streaks and hot streaks and you have your off nights. Hopefully, I can keep going after a good night."
Moore said it does help having a bunch of hitters around him on a good team that forces pitchers to pitch to him. Teammates like Josh Johnson, Archie Gilbert, Derek Norris, Chris Rahl, Bill Rhinehart and others stack the deck, making it tough for the opposition to find a weakness.
"We all kind of play off each other," Moore said. "When one of has a good night and the other is not, he is picking that guy up. That helps our team. We have some run producer guys on this team (who) really just show up every night to play."
Moore made the big splash on offense last year, so many people don't talk much about his improvements at first base on defense. That is where Nationals' infield coordinator Jeff Garber, who has worked with anyone from Ryan Zimmerman to Matt Skole, has refined his defensive footwork.
"My feet are moving a lot better," Moore said. "I feel good defensively, I feel a lot more confidence. Garber has really molded me out of college. My feet were bad (defensively). He has done countless amount of hours with our team as a whole to improve and be more solid (on defense) for an everyday basis."
Moore was able lead the P-Nats to a title last season, and with the Senators up by 5 Â½ games this season at the break, does this group have a chance to pull off a championship at the Double-A level?
"We have been having a good year this year," Moore said. "It has been a fun group to be with. Even last year was fun because we just kept winning. It goes back to the guys that drafted us. It shows a bunch about the character of these guys, we don't have a bunch of 'me' guys."