As the rest of the free world now knows, Bryce Harper has gotten called up to give the incredibly weakened Nats lineup some potential offense. Sometimes moves can be planned and orchestrated (such as keeping Stephen Strasburg in the minors in 2010 past the super-2 deadline), and sometimes your hand is called. With Michael Morse out indefinitely, and with the most fragile $100m player this side of Carl Crawford (aka, F.O.T.F. Ryan Zimmerman) heading to the DL yet again, this team suddenly is without 55-60 homers and 200 RBIs in the middle of its order.
So, we’ll roll the dice with the 19-yr old Harper.
But, should the team really have called up a much more mature, much more MLB-ready member of the Syracuse Chiefs? A guy who is currently putting up this line in AAA: .278/.354/.556 with 6 homers in 20 games? A guy who has hit 30+ homers in two successive seasons, at two successive levels of the minors and is currently on a pace for more than 40 in AAA? Yes I’m talking about Tyler Moore, a 16th round draft pick who has come out of nowhere to become (arguably) this team’s 3rd best hitting prospect in the minors today.
Yes, I know he’s a 1B primarily, and he’s just started taking reps in LF. But after watching Xavier Nady lumber towards balls in LF and watching Mark DeRosa turn routine RF fly balls into adventures, how much worse could it be to stick him out there instead and juggle Harper with Werth and Ankiel in CF and RF (matchup dependent)? Scouts and pundits have routinely discounted Moore’s abilities, and Mike Rizzo’s scouting trip last week apparently made his mind up for him, so perhaps there’s a method to his madness. Maybe Moore really isn’t an OF option despite his LF experiments. We’re not watching him game in and game out, just typing out blog posts from our dining room table.
Either way, the Nats should get at least a more competent batter in the line-up. If Harper comes up and starts blasting the ball all the better.