Top 2020 infielder becomes Arkansas' latest commit from Kansas City

By: Matt Jones
Published: Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Robert Moore fields the ball during a game for the USA National Team.
Photo by Submitted
Robert Moore fields the ball during a game for the USA National Team.

— Arkansas' national runner-up finish at the College World Series energized the Razorbacks' recruiting efforts, which should be most visible in the program's signing classes between 2020-22.

On Monday, the Razorbacks picked up a verbal commitment from one of the nation's top infielders, Robert Moore.

"One of my summer ball teammates, Heston Tole (an infielder from Bowie, Texas), is committed to Arkansas, and he was sending me tweets about every day about Arkansas' run," Moore said.

Moore (5-9, 158 pounds) of Shawnee Mission East High School near Kansas City is rated the nation's No. 20 overall prospect and No. 3 shortstop by Perfect Game, and is the No. 1 prospect in Kansas in the high school class of 2020. He chose the Razorbacks over numerous offers, but said he was most seriously considering Texas and TCU.

He committed to Arkansas after he and his parents, Dayton and Marianne Moore, paid a visit to Fayetteville this week. Dayton Moore is the general manager of the Kansas City Royals.

"We wanted my mom to see it, just because it's important for her to approve the school I picked," Moore said. "We got back (Monday) night and made a few phone calls and committed."

In part because of its proximity, Kansas City "has become a hotbed for Arkansas" in baseball recruiting, said Will Gorden, Moore's high school coach. Past and present Razorbacks from the Kansas City area include Ryne Stanek, Isaiah Campbell and Zebulon Vermillion, a rising sophomore pitcher who played high school baseball with Moore in 2017.

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Arkansas has three more Kansas City-area players committed in the high school class of 2018, including pitcher Liam Henry, who Moore said he was working out with Tuesday.

"The better kids out of Kansas City tend to go to Arkansas, so growing up it's always been on my mind," Moore said. "In my opinion, it's the best atmosphere in college baseball and it's close to home. It was always a high possibility that I wanted to go there."

Arkansas assistant coach Nate Thompson made contact with Moore shortly after he was hired last summer when Moore played for the 15-under USA national team.

"He is definitely one of the more elite players I've seen at his particular age," Gorden said. "In the 2020 class in Kansas and Missouri, he's a standout player among his peers.

"He has exceptional hands and feel on the defensive side of the baseball and he's a really good switch hitter from both sides of the plate. He doesn't see the pitching from the left side of the plate as much during the high school season, but he's pretty consistent on both sides of the plate, which makes him a special hitter. And he's a great small game player. He can really bunt and open up the game in a lot of ways, and use his speed to his advantage."

Gorden said Moore batted .392 with multiple triples as a sophomore. He was voted second-team all-state by coaches.

"He's got some pop to the gaps that is surprising a little bit for his size, but he's a line drive hitter," Gorden said. "His approach it to hit the ball hard up the middle every time.

"He gets down the first base line really well from the left side. He can swipe a ton of bags. I think he was 15 of 16 for us on stolen bases."

Moore is the 11th player to commit to Arkansas in the class of 2020. Verbal commitments are not binding.

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