All-Star Moore Weighs in on Season

Class-A Daytona third baseman Scott Moore is having the best season of his professional career. (The former first round draft pick by the Detroit Tigers in 2002 is batting .297 with 15 home runs and 52 RBI.) Moore, named to this year's Florida State League all-star team, currently ranks in the top five in the league for home runs, RBIs, and runs scored.

"I was excited about the selection," Moore said of his first professional all-star season. "I was looking forward to it and it was a lot of fun."

The year 2005 has certainly been a season of transition for Moore. The biggest change came when he was traded from the Tigers to the Cubs back in February.

"I had no idea that I was even being talked about in trade talks," said Moore, whose best batting average with the Tigers' farm system for any full year was just .239. "At the same time, I was surprised and excited. I've had a fresh start over here and so far it's been good."

Though Moore's teammates are different this season, his surroundings have not changed much. Last season, Moore played for Daytona rival Lakeland of the Florida State League, batting .223 with 14 homers and 56 RBIs. He has already eclipsed his home run totals from last year, and is rapidly closing in on notching more RBIs than in any other season in his minor league career, too.

Moore's numbers have drastically changed from being an overly average player with the Tigers to a dangerous threat in the middle of a Daytona lineup that ranks fourth in the league with a .267 team batting average, and third with 67 home runs.

"My instructors with the Tigers were good," Moore said. "I've learned a lot in the last couple of seasons and am trying to be more patient at the plate. This season, I'm just staying relaxed and taking everything one day at a time."

Most everyone who encounters Moore, a 21-year-old Long Beach, Calif., native, would describe him as having a laid back and humble attitude toward his baseball career. Despite his strong statistics, though, Moore refuses to admit he's a power hitter this season.

"I don't really think about it," he said. "I'm having fun. When stuff is going good, it's easy to have fun. I've tried to take my two years of experience into this year. I don't know if I'd call myself a power hitter, but my job in the middle of the lineup is to drive in runs. I'd definitely like to cut down on my strikeouts (64) some and work toward reducing them."

Defensively, third base has not always been Moore's primary position, as shortstop is where he originally began his minor league career. During rookie ball in the Gulf Coast League in 2002, Moore played short before making the move to the hot corner less than a year later.

Defensive skills continue to be an ongoing focus for this year's all-star selection.

"Moving to third has been different for me," said Moore, who has committed 10 errors this season. "I'm learning every day. Third base was really awkward for me when I first moved over there. This year, I've had some guys work with me on my footwork. I hope my defense and offense are good enough, because I work hard on them both every day."

Lastly, Moore has gotten quite used to the Florida State League considering his 1 1/2 years in the Sunshine State. He has a calm approach about his future in the minor leagues after seeing fellow all-stars Sean Marshall, Carlos Marmol and Randy Wells earn promotions to Double-A.

Still, playing in Daytona is not a letdown for Moore.

"Not after the season I had last year," he said. "I figured I'd be coming back to this league. I'm only 21, and I thought it would be good to come here and hopefully have a good season. When I got traded to the Cubs, I knew I would be here and that it was the best thing for me."

So far, it has been.

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