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Roster review: Tyler Moore

Nov 1, 2013, 6:00 AM EST

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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.

  1. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 1, 2013 at 8:30 AM

    another guy who needs more at bat.

  2. David Proctor - Nov 1, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    The problem with Moore is that you can’t platoon him because he’s actually worse against left handers than right handers. And you’re not going to sit ALR against righties.

  3. jd - Nov 1, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    I think that the Nats missed an opportunity to have a long hard look at Moore when he returned from the minors last year. He was hot and LaRoche was cold and the Nats where not likely to catch any one in the standings. This is one of my problems with Davey. Moore is 26 years old and it’s time to see what he is especially considering 1st base is an open position for the Nats beyond this year.

    As it stands, Moore enters this year in pretty much the same position as last year with LaRoche penciled in at 1st and all the outfield spots spoken for. The only way Moore gets significant playing time is if someone is hurt.

  4. Theophilus T.S. - Nov 1, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    Moore’s MLB “career” should be looked at as five distinct segments: (1) the first two-week call-up in 2012 (awful); (2) June-July 2012 (awesome); (3) August-September 2012 (reality strikes as pitchers start figuring him out); (4) early 2013 (major regression); (5) August-September (mostly) 2013 (recovery).

    Of these, only early 2013 is arguably related to the number of ABs. The rest reflect the process of maturing as a major league hitter, which he would have experienced if he had 500-600 PAs instead of 400. He is at a point where we find out not whether he can fill a spot on a major league roster — he can — but where his ceiling is. At this point I think it — his ceiling — is somewhere around Kevin Millar, which would be fine for me over several seasons. In order to get there, Williams needs to find him 400+ PAs the way Johnson did w/ Lombardozzi, so that Moore will have a track record to run on in 2014. Two hundred of those might come from platooning w/ LaRoche, and 100 from DHing and PHing, rest from occasionally spelling Wirth or Span in the OF.

    • David Proctor - Nov 1, 2013 at 10:43 AM

      He was still pretty good in August-September 2012. He regressed, but he still hit a few homers. And remember he did have the game winning RBI in NLDS Game 1.

  5. Joe Seamhead - Nov 1, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    The guy is a slug with a glove no matter where you play him. He reminds me of a RH’ed version of Lucas Duda. If the Nats are going to keep up with the league’s elite teams the days of dealing with the shortcomings of the Tyler Moores and Danny Espinosas have got to end. Tyler’s a great kid, can crush the ball (sometimes), but that’s about it. Start getting Jayson Werth some reps at first.

  6. sjm308 - Nov 1, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    So, he is 27, and as Marks says, needs to improve both at the plate and in the field. Why do you stay with someone this long that is still not ready? Rizzo went hard for young pitchers and I agree with that but it’s obvious our position players might be lagging a little. Maybe Skole or Souza are the answer but I put Moore on a very short rope early in the season. He does come across as a very pleasant young man but that doesn’t win us games. Will be looking forward to seeing how Williams handles this as first base is to me the biggest problem that needs fixing. I think it won’t happen but the more I think about Ghost’s plan to move Werth, the more sense it seems to make.

    Go Nats!

  7. 3on2out - Nov 1, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    Mark! Now the the World Series is over and the Cardinals have recieved their just deserts…isn’t it time to start the countdown clock to “Pitchers and Catchers Report”? I got it at 115 days…give or take.

  8. David Proctor - Nov 1, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    Nats added Steven Souza to the 40 man roster. Not surprising obviously since he was rule 5 eligible and someone definitely would have taken him. .300 hitter, 15 homers, 22 swipes and 8 assists. Seems like a 5 tool player.

    • letswin3 - Nov 1, 2013 at 1:47 PM

      I just checked him out a little, and those numbers you posted are in only 273 AB’s. And his OBP was 396. Sounds like someone to keep an eye on. Oh, I just checked a little more, and it looks like Souza has been slow to mature….PED use back in 2010 cost him a 50 game suspension, and he got into an argument with his manager when he got back and walked out (quit)…came back apologized to everyone on the planet and started to get his s**t together, but still kind of a different kinda guy…..but talented with a bat in his hands.

  9. Joe Seamhead - Nov 1, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    I agree, 308, Jayson Werth struggled to even look average in RF at times last year, but he was hurt, or at least nicked a good bit of the year. I never thought Werth would spend the entire length of his contract in the outfield, though I did think it likely for him to move to left, and for Bryce to go to right. The problem with that scenario is that Harper really struggles with his reads in right. Werth is smart enough, and athletic enough to make the adjustment to play first, which, at this point, is more likely than Ryan Zimmerman moving to first.

    • NatsLady - Nov 1, 2013 at 11:33 AM

      Agree. I think RZ will spend his career at 3B, as did Larry (Chipper), Juan Uribe, and any number of other aging players, including Matt Williams, who retired at 37 as a third baseman. The last couple of years should have taught him a lot about the need to stay healthy, stay in shape, and stay focused over a long period even when you are newly married and soon to be a father.

      Re: Tyler Moore–Matt Skole strikes out a lot, too.

      I’m sure Werth is plenty smart enough to move to first base, but do you want his arm wasted there? I prefer the original plan, which is to teach Harper right field. I grant he struggles with his reads NOW, but now isn’t forever.

      • David Proctor - Nov 1, 2013 at 11:54 AM

        Skole strikes out a lot, but he also walks a lot.

      • jd - Nov 1, 2013 at 12:11 PM


        Skole is 24 and has 7 at bats above A+ level. To extrapolate him to the majors is a major stretch. I think that at this point Moore is miles ahead of Skole in terms of development. I am not as convinced as everyone else here that Moore is a butcher at 1st base, I don’t think any one has the basis to make that statement at this point.

      • letswin3 - Nov 1, 2013 at 1:25 PM

        I agree about Werth’s arm, but how many runs can he save while in right field with his arm when he has shown that he can suffer injury more easily in that position. If he plays first, he is less likely to be on IR, and he can provide many more runs with his bat than the disappointing ALR. The tradeoff of a good arm for a good hitting first baseman makes sense to me. And if you add in Mr. Choo as an offseason acquisition, the net result is outstanding.

  10. David Proctor - Nov 1, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    I don’t believe I ever said that I was ready for Skole to be at the major league level. I’m just pointing out that his tools are better suited for it. Even in the minor leagues, Moore was a low OBP guy with lots of power who struck out a ton and almost never walked. Skole has similar power, but a better eye. If anything actually comes of him, too soon to say.

  11. sjm308 - Nov 1, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    My point was that Moore is 27 which certainly is not old but also not a prospect anymore. I also am not saying that Skole or Souza are ready right now but they are young enough to be given a better (longer) look. My thoughts on Werth, while I continue to say it won’t happen soon, are based on us signing another outfielder in my fantasy GM roll. I think the Boras client will look good somewhere in a Nats uniform and he will come with a nice new shiny ring. Certainly Ellsbury or Span can learn to handle that corner outfield spot or maybe Ellsbury learns first base. Its all fantasy after all so I will just dream away. can you imagine the speed we would have with our top 3 batters? I think Davey kept the running game from developing and I am hoping Williams allows both Harper and Span to have fun on the basepaths. If you add my fantasy pick its even more fun.





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