Nov 1, 2013, 6:00 AM EDT
Age on Opening Day 2014: 27
How acquired: 16th round pick, 2008 draft
MLB service time: 1 year, 106 days
2013 salary+bonuses: $493,000
Contract status: Arbitration-eligible in 2016, free agent in 2019
2013 Stats (Nats only): 63 G, 178 PA, 16 R, 37 H, 9 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 21 RBI, 0 SB, 8 BB, 58 SO, .222 AVG, .260 OBP, .347 SLG, .607 OPS, 1 E, -5.3 UZR in OF, -0.6 UZR at 1B, -1.2 WAR
2013 analysis: On the heels of an impressive rookie season, Moore entered 2013 hoping to duplicate those feats and remain a potent force off the Nationals’ bench. But life as a seldom-used reserve is tough for a young player, and Moore found that out the hard way.
He hit an abysmal .151 with a .195 on-base percentage and paltry .283 slugging percentage through the season’s first three months, numbers that ultimately earned him a ticket to Class AAA Syracuse. The Nationals felt like Moore’s only chance to get back on track was to get four at-bats on a daily basis, something that wasn’t going to happen in the big leagues.
The plan did work. Moore hit .318 with 10 homers in 45 games at Syracuse, earning his way back onto the major-league roster in August. And he proved a far more productive player in his second stint of the season in D.C., hitting .344 over his final 21 games to finish the year on a more positive note.
2014 outlook: Moore is quickly approaching a career crossroads. The Nationals have maintained all along he’s destined to be a productive, everyday player in the big leagues. But he’s unlikely to get that opportunity in D.C. anytime soon, not unless somebody else suffers a significant injury (or is traded away).
Moore could get more playing time if new manager Matt Williams is willing to sit Adam LaRoche against left-handers. But even if that happens, Moore is going to need to progress in several areas of the game. He needs to become a more selective hitter, willing to take more walks and not strike out nearly so much. He also needs to improve his game in the field, because right now he’s well below average at both first base and in the outfield.
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