For the first time this season, a Washington National hit two homers in a game, and it wasn't by the rookie you were expecting.
While Bryce Harper hit his ninth double of the season, it was 25-year-old Tyler Moore who became the first National with a multi-homer game this season, taking Blue Jays starter Kyle Drabek deep in the fourth inning and then notching his second big-league homer in the sixth inning off Aaron Laffey. Add to that an RBI double, and the Nationals first baseman had his best performance in the big leagues, going 3 for 4 with five RBI in the Nationals' 6-2 victory over the Blue Jays.
So just who is Tyler Moore? A rookie out of Mississippi State, Moore is one of just two players to hit 30 or more homers in the minors in each of the last two seasons. He hit 31 last season for Double-A Harrisburg and that same number for high-Class A Potomac the year before.
Moore, who can also play left field, is in his second stint with the Nationals and got the start at first because Adam LaRoche was given the day off after fouling a ball off his foot. He had three hits in 19 at-bats as a reserve earlier in the year before being sent back down to Triple-A Syracuse. In six games after being sent down, he hit .391/.417/.870 with two homers and then he was called back up when catcher Carlos Maldonado went on the disabled list last week with a sore back.
Since his return, Moore has appeared in four games, with six hits in 12 at-bats -- two doubles, Wednesday's two homers, five runs scored and even two stolen bases.
A right-handed batter, Moore has power to spare. He'll strike out a bit and doesn't walk much, but he can slug with the best of them. In the minors, he's a career .268/.320/.491 hitter.
The Nationals drafted him three times -- out of a Mississippi high school in the 41st round of the 2005 draft, in the 33rd round out of a Mississippi junior college in 2006 and then from Mississippi State in the 16th round in 2008. He's steadily moved up the minor leagues since. A natural first baseman, he's played more left because of the presence of Chris Marrero in the Nationals' system.
Moore's not likely to ever grab the headlines like Harper or Steve Lombardozzi, but days like Wednesday can happen and his power is certainly no joke, as the Blue Jays learned.
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