By Hunter Jones/Special to The Tuscalooosa News
Oklahoma City Dodgers catcher Ben Moore is trying to make the most of his second chance.
After being drafted in the eighth round in the 2014 MLB draft by the Boston Red Sox and asking for his release in 2017, Moore, a former University of Alabama player, was looking for a fresh start.
“It started off pretty good until I tore my ACL in 2015 and then came back in 2016 and just couldn’t really find my groove, struggled a little bit,” Moore said. “Went to spring training with Boston in 2017 and at the end it just kind of came time to try my luck elsewhere.”
Soon after, he signed with the Southern Illinois Miners in the Frontier League, an independent league.
“I kind of did my research and talked to some people who played there or played in other independent leagues and I decided it was a good fit,” Moore said.
After tearing his other ACL in 2018, Moore decided to stop playing baseball. He began to transition into coaching when the Dodgers called him about playing again. During his time with the Red Sox, Moore said he put a lot of pressure on himself to perform to get to the majors. During his time with the Dodgers, Moore wanted to take a different approach to baseball.
“This time around I’m kind of treating it as a gift, like I stepped away from baseball and then was given an opportunity to come back and be AAA with the Dodgers and so I’m kind of treating each day as a gift,” Moore said. “I’m not putting any expectations on it I’m just kind of enjoying being where I’m being.”
While Moore is focused on trying to enjoy his second chance in baseball, he’s also using his time with the Dodgers to advance his coaching career.
“I expressed to them that I had an interest in going into coaching,” Moore said. “I’ve had an opportunity to just learn a lot of things that I didn’t know previously and had a lot of help from a lot of coaches here and kind of teaching me different parts of the game that I didn’t already know so that’s been extremely helpful.”
On the Fourth of July, in Moore’s first at-bat with the Dodgers, he hit a home run in the second inning.
“It was kind of a confirmation that I did make the right decision,” Moore said. “It’s been a long time coming, through rehabbing the knee again, putting all the work in and then spending a good bit of time just kind of on the (Disabled List). Catching bullpens and watching, yeah, it was kind of an affirmation that this was the right decision.”