Driven to Succeed, Ty Moore Hooked by Goldeyes
American Association Daily provides insights and features on the American Association of Professional Baseball League, as well as player and coaching profiles and transactions going on with teams around the league. In today’s edition. we feature Winnipeg Goldeyes outfielder Ty Moore, who is driven to reach the Majors while also helping his team in their quest for a third straight championship.
Introducing Ty Moore
One of the things about baseball that you will commonly hear is that this is a sport that does not necessarily reward hard work and effort. A player could spend hours of additional time in the batting cage and study film obsessively, yet, still wind up going 0-12 over their next three games. It is truly a game where doing everything right doesn’t necessarily earn you a better performance at the plate.
It also doesn’t necessarily earn you a longer stay with an affiliate club. One of the most perplexing aspects of affiliate ball is that the performance of a player on the field does not necessarily translate to respect within the organization. That player could improve each year, put up solid numbers, and be a guy who looks like he has an enormous amount of potential, yet, he can find himself released in a matter of just a couple of seasons. It truly is a head scratcher.
It is a situation that could either crush a young man’s spirit, sending him into retirement at an early age, or drive him to prove that he truly has what it takes to reach the highest levels of the sport. In the case of Winnipeg Goldeyes outfielder Ty Moore, he is looking to use his new opportunity to prove that the dream he had since he was a little kid will not end until he is standing on a Major League diamond.
Baseball Is a Member of the Family
Ty Moore grew up in a family where baseball was an enormous passion. His dad, Roger, played, baseball through college at Cal State-Dominguez Hills and his brother, Chance, also competed at the college level.
His dad continued to play softball as well as coach Chance’s baseball team. Even though his brother was four-years older than him, Ty was even to play on his brother’s team, which afforded him the opportunity to challenge himself against much higher level competition.
“I was being taken to softball fields and, when my dad was done playing in a softball league, I went to my brother’s games where I was always the batboy. Sometimes my dad would put me in my brother’s games even though he was four years older than me. I was seven years old playing with my brother’s 11 and under team and I always liked to compete against the older guys.”
Proving to Be a Man of His Word
Baseball had always been the priority for Ty Moore. He had a standout career at high school powerhouse Mater Dei (Santa Ana, CA), where he was on the varsity team all four years. He was named the Gatorade California State Player of the Year his senior season, and was also named to the USA Today All-American team after hitting .406 with 23 RBI.
Accolades were not the only things that his performance earned him. He caught the eye of the New York Yankees, who selected the outfielder in the 25th round of the 2012 draft.
This created quite a dilemma. Ty had already committed to UCLA, but this was the New York Yankees after all. Would he go to college or begin his professional career right away?
“Coming out of high school I had sat down with basically with all 30 clubs. I was a pretty highly touted prospect and after all of those meetings I just sat down with my family and we came up with a number of what it was going to take to sign me to go professional over going to UCLA. I made a promise to them that if it was a dollar less than that number, I would go to UCLA and I would get my degree. My parents thought that was a good idea; it was a strong commitment either way.
“When they came back, it actually made things tougher than what I thought it was going to be. They came back with an offer that was extremely close and I asked my parents and I tried to persuade them. They said, ‘Well, we’ll support you either way, but you did say that if it was a dollar less then you were going to go to college.’ I sat down and I thought about that and I said, ‘You know, you’re right.’”
“…And There Was Light.”
While the Yankees made it a tough decision, Ty Moore stayed true to his word. He headed to UCLA in 2012, which was the ideal spot to continue his dream for many reasons.
“I chose UCLA, one because I wanted to be close to home. I wanted my parents to be able to come see me in all of my games. I only live like an hour away. That was really convenient for them. The campus is breathtaking. You step foot on that campus and your decision is pretty much already made for you. You’re not going to say no once you’re on there and you see that place firsthand.”
The Bruins were also a great choice because of their focus on player development. While Head Coach John Savage wants a winning team, he is more focused on developing young men who can be winners on and off the field when they leave the school.
“They really preached being about team, developing baseball players; it isn’t just about winning. Obviously, they wanted to win, that was their main goal, but it was about developing their players along the way while they won. I knew that was my biggest goal to make it to the next level. I wanted to play professional baseball, and I thought UCLA was my best chance for that to happen while I was still staying close to home.”
Ty played in 28 games for the Bruins his freshman year. He hit .219 with 10 runs and 10 RBI, but he would celebrate a personal highlight that season. The Bruins won the National Championship, making the decision to go to college a wise one.
With a year under his belt, Ty had a solid sophomore season, hitting .294 in 56 games with 2 homers and 24 RBI. He scored 28 runs and posted a .459 slugging percentage in PAC-12 play, tops on the team.
The outfielder continued to improve, hitting .342 in 61 games his junior season. He scored 44 runs and led the Bruins with 51 RBI. He was named to the All PAC-12 team and later was given Los Angeles Regional All-Tournament honors.
It was an outstanding season that made Ty feel he was ready to move onto the next chapter in his life. He opted to enter the draft, figuring that he would go early on Day 2. That did not wind up being the case.
Surprisingly, his name was not called by the end of the second day and his parents recommended that he return to college for his senior season. However, for Moore, it was a tough decision. He had already prepared himself mentally to play professional baseball, and returning to college was not an easy decision to make.
That became moot when he was drafted in the 12th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was truly a bittersweet moment for Ty.
“I was mad at first. I had counted on going earlier in the draft and, when my name wasn’t called that second day, I was angry. I really thought I was going to go and thought about returning to UCLA. But, the Pirates called me right away on Day 3 and told me they were taking me, and I was excited about the opportunity.”
Learning on the Fly
Following the 2015 draft, Ty Moore skipped rookie ball and headed to Low-A West Virginia in the New York-Penn League. He hit .277 in 64 games with 24 runs and 33 RBI. It was a solid start to his professional career, but not one that came without adjustment. Ty had played baseball against top level competition at UCLA, so the competition was not an issue, but there were other parts of professional ball in which he had to adjust.
“I don’t think the talent level was much of a difference. I felt that it was pretty much the same as college ball. I just think that the way that they go about it in pro ball is a little different. No one is ever going to tell you what to do. You kind of have to figure things out on your own. No one’s going to be there to hold your hand, no one is going to really be there to guide you. When you go pro, it’s your career and you kind of have to take it in the direction that you want to go. If you don’t take charge and be assertive you’re going to get left behind.”
Ty began 2016 in the New York-Penn League, but was moved to the Pirates’ Mid-A team which also happened to be in West Virginia (South Atlantic League). The outfielder hit .288 in L0w-A, but struggled a little bit acclimating himself to the higher level, hitting .195 in 22 games.
Never one to back down from a challenge, Moore returned to West Virginia the next year where he hit .266 and 61 games. That earned him a promotion to High-A Bradenton (Florida State League), where he hit .289 in 52 games with 5 homers and 26 RBI.
Hooked by the Goldeyes
Despite having a strong start to his professional career and proving that he could get better with each season, the Pittsburgh Pirates organization released Ty Moore during this past Spring Training. It was a shock to more than just Ty.
“I called my dad the morning I was released and he thought I was joking. I called my fiancé and she thought I was joking. I’ve done nothing but improve and I think that’s what you need as a ballplayer. It was a shock.”
This could’ve been a crushing blow, but not to Ty. He knew that he had barely scratched the surface of how good his game could get, and opted to prove that by joining the Winnipeg Goldeyes in the American Association. He has no doubt that he will make the Major Leagues one day and knew there would be no better place to continue that dream than playing north of the border.
“My goal is to go out every game. I go out on Monday and I get better, and I go out Tuesday and I’m better than I was on Monday. I think that’s the direction my career is headed in right now. I was upset that the Pirates let me go, but I don’t see that as the end for me. I’m getting better each year. I’m excited to be out here in Winnipeg and to join this organization and it doesn’t matter to me whether it’s affiliated ball or independent ball. I’m here to get better and ultimately, one day, make the big leagues and I think Winnipeg gives me the best opportunity to do that. I’m very thankful that they took me on and I’m ready to get to work.”
There were other teams who were interested in signing Ty, but it was something one of his coaches at UCLA told him that made it easier to decide that Winnipeg was the right place for him to sign.
“I love the fact that they’re a winner. My college coach used to always tell me, it’s always fun being a good player but nothing’s more fun than being a good player on a good team. I want to be a part of the winning tradition in Winnipeg. I think that what (Manager Rick) Forney has going for them with his club is bar none. I just wanted a chance to be a part of that.”
Failure Is Not an Option
Baseball is a funny sport. It’s not about being the strongest, the quickest, or the most athletic that makes you a good baseball player. This is a game more about your psychological approach than anything else, and that is why Ty Moore has been able to be so successful in the sport.
Because the game is centered around failure, one must realize that even when a player does everything right, that does not mean things are going go their way. That may be one of the biggest battles of all and is one that Ty is destined to win.
“You just got to take the mental approach, preparing yourself day in and day out. It’s kind of like that old cliché that your parents might have told you when you were little. Just try your best and if you gave it all you had you know that you gave it your best. That’s kind of how you have to look at it. As corny as that sounds, you work your ass off in the off-season, you work your ass off during the season and if you can, at the end of the night, look at yourself in the mirror and say, ‘I did all that I could do. There’s nothing else that I could’ve done.’
“More times than not, if you do all that you can do and if you can keep going at it even if you fail, you keep going and you keep going, eventually it’s going to go your way. If you work your ass off, eventually it’s going to pay off. Maybe not right away, but eventually it will.”
Ty is driven to succeed. He has invested the vast majority of his life to baseball, and continues to do so, and he is not willing to think that he did not use his time wisely.
“I want to prove myself right. I believe in myself. I’ve sacrificed a lot of time, my fiancé can tell you about that. I believe that I can do this and I want to prove to myself and to all of the people who have been supporting me and making this possible for me to do this, I want to prove to them that this was worth it. I made it and I want to thank you guys for believing in me when I may not have even believed in myself. I want to prove to those people that I didn’t waste their time.”
For Ty, it is about all those who have supported him along the way. The many who have been there to pat him on the back when he has done well and to pick him up when he has fallen on his face. No one tops that list more than the ones he loves the most.
“My parents are a huge support system. My fiancé, she is always watching my games, always calling me on the phone whether I had a good game or a bad game, being supportive. I think that’s been huge for my career is to have that family support base. I would not be where I am without the love and support of my parents and my fiancé.
“I’ve got friends from high school and friends from college and even their families that I still keep in contact with. I’ll have a really good game and they’ll call me or text me and say, ‘Hey, great job.’ Even when I have a really bad games I’ll still get a text from them saying ‘Hey, keep your head up, keep working hard, it’s going to happen, so just brush it off and get to the next one.’
“I think people are always going to be around you when you’re doing well and when you succeed. But I have a lot of people in my circle that, when I do bad, my phone is not silent. When I’m struggling, I’ve got a lot of people behind me. I think that’s the main thing. It’s really nice to have somebody there when you’re down. Those people have been a huge part of my success.”
Bring on the Next Challenge
Each day, Ty Moore gets up and heads to the batting cage with his dad to hit. His dad looks for tips and stories to share with his son as Ty prepares for the 2018 American Association season.
The Winnipeg Goldeyes are coming off back-to-back championships, looking to make it three in a row, but this is a team that has seen the roster undergo some dramatic changes over the last couple of months. They lost two of their biggest pieces when 2017 American Association Player of the Year Josh Romanski opted to play in Mexico and David Rohm retired.
A lot is going to be expected from the team’s new outfielder but, to be honest, nothing more than what he expects from himself. Ty Moore will be suiting up for the Winnipeg Goldeyes looking to prove that all that hard work and dedication resulted in a season to remember. He is also looking to prove that the Pittsburgh Pirates made a huge mistake. Unfortunately for a lot of the pitchers in the American Association pitchers,they are going to have to pay the price for the Pirates’ mistake.
By Robert Pannier
Member of the IBWAA