It's been an up and down season for Scott Moore, who won Pacific Coast League player of the week honors last week for hitting .455 with three homers and seven RBIs in six games.
The eighth-overall pick in 2002 by the Detroit Tigers is hitting .346/.440/.679 in May after a rough start in the first month with his new organization. His OPS was 599 as late as April 27, but has been lifted to 905 since.
"I've never had a start as slow as this year," Moore said. "I've probably had more slow starts than really good starts. I couldn't tell you why."
Moore has played all over the field throughout his career, but has played primarily third and first base since coming to the A's. Moore's acquisition allowed the A's to deal Stephen Parker to Milwaukee in the offseason for reliever Darren Byrd. Parker was a fringe prospect as he came up through Oakland's system and struggled to produce once he got to Triple-A.
The River Cats have six former first-round picks, including Moore, on the roster, making for a talented team. But none are as well-traveled as Moore. The Cypress, Calif. native has played parts of five seasons in the big leagues for the Cubs, Orioles and Astros. He has played 12 seasons in the minors, including eight at the Triple-A level with Sacramento being his fourth Triple-A stop.
Moore had his best major-league season in Houston in 2012, hitting a career-high nine homers in 228 plate appearances, giving him an OPS of 778.
Two months into this season, Moore's splits are starting to show some disconcerting trends. He's hitting .184 against lefties and .203 at Raley Field. On the other hand, against right-handers he's hitting .333 and he's at .385 on the road.
"(It's) a five-month season in the minor leagues, six months in the big leagues, you're not always going to be good," Moore said. "But when you're really struggling or maybe just being mediocre you got to stick with it and believe in it. You have some good weeks and some good months."
Moore said he's been able to hit lefties well in the past, but he has struggled against off-speed offerings.
"This year it's been a struggle a little bit," Moore said. "But for the most part – for the three months left – hopefully I can start seeing that pitch a little bit better and getting some hits."
It's been a streaky season for many of the River Cats' hitters and Moore is no exception. As the summer progresses, his splits should even out and give the organization a more clear idea on whether or not his bat could provide anything to the major league team down the road.