Reid Humphreys didn’t pay much attention to those Northwest Rankin baseball games he attended eight years ago.
Well, not until he heard the P.A. announcer call his big brother’s name.
“Now batting for the Cougars, No. 12, first baseman Tyler Moore!!!”
That’s when a then 10-year old Reid Humphreys would make his way to the fence along the first base line.
“As soon as he would hit a home run, I would take off running to be the first one to try to get the ball,” recalled Humphreys. “He hit 16 that year and I think I ran and got almost all of them. I would always tell myself that I wanted to be able to hit home runs like that one day. I wanted to hit one over the trees like he used to do and have everyone talk about it.”
Humphreys, now a senior shortstop at Northwest Rankin, is following just fine in the giant footsteps of his big brother, who is now an outfielder/first baseman with the Washington Nationals.
Considered by most to be the state’s top senior, the Mississippi State signee headlines The Clarion-Ledger’s 2013 Baseball Dandy Dozen.
“He’s a very complete player,” said Mississippi State coach John Cohen. “He can run, throw and has power and can potentially pitch.”
Humphreys batted .360 with 38 RBIs and seven home runs as a junior. On the mound, he was 6-3 with a 1.85 ERA.
He’ll begin this season playing mostly as a designated hitter after undergoing Tommy John surgery in July.
“It’s really kind of frightening how good he can be from a power standpoint because he hasn’t been able to hit that spurt of strength and conditioning because of the rehab with his arm,” Cohen said. “But if he can get physical like his brother Tyler Moore, the more the power is going to develop.”
And it’s that power that Northwest Rankin coach Jeff McClaskey says makes the 6-foot-2, 190-pound Humphreys similar to his big brother, who was named Mississippi’s Mr. Baseball in 2005 by The Clarion-Ledger.
“They both have tremendous ability at the plate,” said McClaskey. “Tyler has made it where he is because of his bat. I think if Reid makes it there, and he has the potential, it will be because of his bat.”
Humphreys credits much of his success to his brother.
“I try to take after everything he does, so it’s hard to say there are many differences,” said Humphreys. “He has more mental toughness than me though, so if I’m struggling, I’ll call him and get some advice.”
Moore makes sure to pass along off-the-field advice to his little brother as well. “I talk to him about just being a better man every day and just leading by example,” said Moore.
“Listening to him helps me always make the right decisions,” said Humphreys. “Tyler didn’t have anything special, but he worked for everything he got. He has always been there. If I have a question, I know he’s got the answer.”
Humphreys admits it can be tough at times being the younger brother of a guy who made his Major League Baseball debut last season.
“There can be pressure because people expect a lot when you are Tyler Moore’s little brother,” said Humphreys. “But I try not to think about it. I just try to do me and just play.”
Humphreys has heard from several MLB teams, including the Toronto Blue Jays, the Seattle Mariners and the San Diego Padres. Oh, and from the Nationals.
“It’s weird coming home and seeing a letter from them,” said Humphreys. “You see it on the table and you think, ‘Oh, that’s Tyler’s letter,’ and then I look and see my name on it.”
But Humphreys says he isn’t concerned too much about the MLB draft in June. Not now anyway.
“Before the arm injury, I probably would have leaned more towards the draft,” said Humphreys. “But now I am focusing more on going to play college baseball. But I am definitely going to give it my all this year and if something comes up that I can’t pass up, then it’s something I will take.”
But for now, he is focused more on his senior season. He’d like to lead the Cougars to the school’s second baseball state championship. His brother led the way when they won the first one in 2005.
“I definitely want to win state,” said Humphreys. “That hasn’t been done since my brother’s last year. It was cool growing up with him and watching him hit 16 homers and 65 RBIs that year. You don’t hear about someone doing stuff like that often. It’s cool to know he did that. It lets you know that it’s possible, and the guy who did it was my big brother.”