Throughout the offseason, The Nats Blog will look back at every player’s 2012 season to summarize and analyze his performance, and we’ll look ahead to his possible role in 2013. We’ll go from #1 Steve Lombardozzi all the way to #63 Henry Rodriguez until Spring Training. Enjoy.
Though his call-up to the major leagues was a bit overshadowed by Bryce Harper’s the day before, Tyler Moore stepped into the spotlight in his own right during the 2012 season.
The 26-year-old, who was drafted by the Nationals in 2008 in the 16th round, had been one of the Nats’ top prospects for some time, with good reason. In both 2010 and 2011, Moore hit 31 home runs in the minor leagues and held a batting average of .269 and .270, respectively, which earned him a slew of minor league honors and awards. Moore continued to show his prowess at the plate against major league pitchers when he played with the big club, although it took him a little while to adjust.
In his first month with the team he hit .158 with seven strikeouts in 19 at-bats. After being briefly sent back down to the minors, he was recalled on June 7 and remained with the team through the end of the season. Upon his return, he showed the potential he had flaunted in the minors. In the following 63 games with the Nationals, he had 137 at-bats and produced a slash line of .277/.349/.562, with 10 home runs 29 total RBI.
It is also worth noting that Moore, a first baseman by trade, had never played outfield before the 2012 season, but he spent the majority of his time there for the Nationals. Moore credited Bo Porter, the Nationals’ former third base coach, with helping him learn to play the position, and though he wasn’t quite Gold Glove caliber, he never made an error in 30 total chances.
Moore’s first season in the majors also gave him the fortunate opportunity to play in the postseason, and the rookie earned his participation. He saw his sole at-bat of the postseason in Game 1 of the NLDS, and with two outs in the top of the eighth inning, Moore salvaged a game that was looking grim. Moore lofted a 93-mile-per-hour fastball into left field, scoring Michael Morse and Ian Desmond and pushing the score to 3-2, Nationals. The St. Louis Cardinals didn’t score again in the remaining innings, and Moore went home a hero after his first-ever postseason appearance.
Next Year: Moore’s days in the minors appear to be over. In 2013 he will most likely fill a similar role to the one he held in 2012, as a member of the Goon Squad, backup left fielder and first baseman, unless injuries thrust him into a starting position. He had a fairly high strikeout percentage (26.9) in 2012, which isn’t ideal for a pinch hitter, but having a starter-caliber player as an option off the bench is too valuable an asset to waste in the minors.
Up Next: #63 Henry Rodriguez