At only 17 years old Robert Moore appeared to be on his way to a fantastic freshman year for the Hogs. Then the 2020 season came to an abrupt end. At the end of the shortened season Moore had a .317 batting average to go with an impressive 17 RBIs on 20 hits in only 16 games.
Moore came to Arkansas from the Kansas City area early. He was originally a part of the 2020 recruiting class but graduated early to play for the Razorbacks this spring.
The season was cut off right before SEC play started due to the coronavirus pandemic. This may give Moore problems in 2021. He struggled early on to start his collegiate career before adjusting and becoming an important hitter in the lineup. He may struggle at least for a short while when he gets his first taste of SEC pitching.
Because 2021 will be his first chance to see SEC pitchers in a game, I expect 2022 to be Moore’s breakout season where he becomes a top college prospect. He will still be listed as an athletic sophomore in 2022 because of the spring athletes getting an extra year of eligibility. If he is able to have a solid 2021 and have a great season after that then he could be an early draft pick come the 2022MLB Draft should he declare.
Robert Moore made an appearance on the “Around the Diamond” podcast with Steve Hinson and Kevin Bohannon.
He talked about goals, quarantine, and how well he fits in the team.
“It’s been an honor and privilege to be a Razorback so far. So I can’t wait for the next three, four years.”
He also let the listeners know how he’s been spending his time without a season to play.
“I’ve been in Kansas City ever since we got the news that the season was cancelled. Coach Van Horn sat us all down I believe March 12th and told us the season was likely to be cancelled. Ever since then I’ve been home. I’ve been hitting at a place called Building Champions… and working out at TopSpeed Strength and Conditioning and just trying to stay in shape.”
“There’s a summer ball team now that I’ll go play for down in Florida this year [The Sarasota Tigers of the Florida Gulf Coast League]… hopefully we’ll be able to play. But yeah, just trying to stay in shape and enjoying the family time.”
Moore also talked about his first game in Baum Stadium and the experience of playing in front of the Arkansas crowd.
“My first game at Baum, me and Casey [Martin] run out there a little behind shortstop for the National Anthem and I’m like ‘Ok, I can handle this, it’s not too much different,’ Moore told Hinson and Bohanan.
“And I looked around and I looked at Casey and I said ‘There’s a lot of people here.’ And he’s like ‘Yeah, what are you talking about? It’s Arkansas.’ And the first ball was hit to me and I don’t remember it, I don’t know how I didn’t black out to be honest with you. I had the yips throwing it to first base. Luckily [Cole] Austin catches everything, but my hand was numb, my eyes were going black, and I just felt really really light headed out there. But after the first couple days I said ok this is normal now.”
He has been playing second for the Hogs, but Robert Moore can play both middle infield spots and could find himself at either in the next level — or maybe next year if Casey Martin decides to go into the 2020 MLB Draft. He said he’s fine at either spot as long as he’s practicing.
“I would say I’m most comfortable wherever I get the most reps at, at a given time. This past year I took more reps at second base so if you put me in a game, I’d be more comfortable at second base. The year before I took most of my reps at shortstop, so if you put me in a game I’d be more comfortable at shortstop. I’m comfortable at both places, I love both positions, I love the technique and footwork that come with both, I love the challenges that come with both.”
Moore said on the “Around the Diamond” podcast that his goal as a Razorback is to break the school record of 102 hits in a season. He is a dedicated young player that has the ability to challenge the record if he keeps up his hard work and development.
On his first day in the Hogs locker room, he took a picture of the school records on his phone. “Zack Cox I believe in 2010 had 102 hits, so my goal was 103. I got out there my first weekend and I’m like there’s no way 103 is happening.”
He also spoke about his relationship with Casey Martin. The young infielder said Martin has taken him under his wing. There are few better mentors in the NCAA than a potential first-round pick Casey Martin. Being able to work with and learn from Martin gives Moore a unique opportunity that gives him an advantage in his development. Few players get to play closely with first rounders and have a legendary coach like Dave Van Horn.
“He took me under his wing. From the start, from my very first couple of days he came along side of me and wanted to teach me about how to be a Razorback, how to play shortstop, how to play second, how to play middle infield for Coach Van Horn and at the SEC level. Funny story… this is probably like our third practice… and I was trying to fit in so I was going max out on every ground ball and charging everything and whatever and he comes up to me and he’s like ‘hey you gotta quit charging every ball this is SEC.’”
“And I’m like ‘what are you talking about man? This is what I’ve been doing my whole life.’ So the next day we’re doing BP and Christian Franklin hits a hard ground ball, and we just got the field laser-graded so it’s very soft and like any cleat mark will make you get a bad hop right, and I’m charging it and it’s a bullet, takes a bad hop hits me right where the sun doesn’t shine. I go down, I pass out, I’m on the ground for like 15 minutes. I finally go back into the dugout and I’m getting ready to puke and Casey comes up to me and says ‘I told you not to charge anything.’”
Robert Moore was born to play baseball. He is the son of the Kansas City Royals’ General Manager Dayton Moore. This gave him the unique availability to Major Leaguers. His father started with the Atlanta Braves so it should be no surprise he said Chipper Jones was his favorite player growing up and was his inspiration for being a switch-hitter.
“When I was younger my dad used to take me to the ballpark and we would watch BP and by the time it was game time I’d sit next to Rusty Kuntz, Rafael Belliard, and Jason Kendall. And they would just talk baseball the whole time… Christian Colon always took me under his wing and you know let me take ground balls with him and teach me something afterwards. That helped me alot. He actually taught me how to get around the ball and work your feet towards first base.”
With the game in his DNA, Robert Moore has the natural ability, work ethic, and support system to be a great player and his potential is unlimited.
Regardless of when he breaks through, expect great things from this Hog.
Click here to listen to the entire 27-minute interview with Robert Moore, as originally seen on our friends at NaturalStateSports.com.
And see his finest performance in his freshman season here: