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2013 Phillies Draft Preview - Colin Moran, 3B

The UNC star's stock has wavered a bit this Spring and projections and mock drafts have had him going anywhere from Top 5 to around 20th overall. More recently he's been projected consistently Top 10. Should he fall to 16 though, what would the Phillies be getting?

Moran is a 6'3" 210 lb, 20 year old Third Baseman from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. There are plenty of chances to watch Moran, if you wish as Chapel Hill is a Top 10 team and will be hosting semis in the College World Series race and he likely will have at least a few televised games left. There is a ton of info and video on Moran, so let's get right to it. I'll be cherry picking a bit to avoid an enromous post, but I'll include a few links down page that you might find interesting.

Moran profiles as an average defender at Third. Reports seem to have several questions about his defense, but I saw Moran several times in person, and while he clearly isn't Evan Longoria, he also doesn't look like Mark Reynolds or Ty Wigginton to me either. He'll stick, but he won't win any Gold Gloves (not on actual performance anyway, as the votes can become a popularity contest to an extent). Now I saw Moran 3 times this Spring. Twice I had the dumb luck to see him face Carlos Rodon of NC State (Rodon's a Sophmore, but if he were draft eligible this year, he'd be head and shoulders the best player in the draft.) No one ever looks good against Rodon, and that includes Moran. To Moran's benefit, in both games he made the best contact against Moran Rodon and mostly avoided striking out, but Carlos Rodon is a machine that destroys hitters and leaves them weeping in the corner. That includes Moran. So, to be fair to Moran I'll rely on video and other Scouting Reports as well.

Colin Moran probably has the best hit tool in this draft and a good enough eye to take a fair share of Walks. His power is probably below average for the hot corner. To his benefit he has the size to hit for power and he has very good line drive power, sometimes that ends up translating into average to above-average power for guys in the pros, but his swing is so good and stays in the zone so long I'd hate to see anyone mess with that in the hopes of squeezing out a few more Homers.

Defensively he has more than enough arm for Third, but he can get sloppy and Dave Hollins a few throws here and there. He has good throw mechanics at third, but when he slows down he can get himself in trouble with footwork. His range is not very good and he can look a bit awkward at times. As I said above, I think he can probably hang on as an averagish Defender at Third, but if he has to move it would likely either be Left (where, at best, he'd be a Pat Burrel type Defender) or First (where he would probably do very well, but what a waste of a plus arm). Years ago I played Goal in Lacrosse and when I was standing in goal I was awful, but if I got up on the balls of my feet and stayed ready I was better (though only slightly better than awful, if I'm being honest). Keith Law from ESPN (video linked below) notes flat footedness as an isue with Moran. It should also be an easy fix with some one-on-one work.

If he can't stick at Third? Well, that's a problem. To play at First you have to be able to maintain a Slugging Percentage and ISO much higher than I expect Moran will carry. The pressure's a little lower in Left, but not by that much. Even at Third Moran's power will likely be fringy. At First, he might be James Loney with a slightly better hit tool.

Here's Moran hitting in the Cape Cod League (courtesy of E Tyler Bullock). I usually hate high leg kicks for hitters, but look at Moran's bat control. He adjusts faster/slower, up/down. It's very impressive to see and he rarely looks to be fooled largely because of his incredible bat control. It's also impressive how long he keps his bat on the plane of the pitch, which allows him to make great contact even if slightly ahead or behind the ball.

Only because I was at this game and really, don't send Moran to beat a throw, he's not very fast.

Courtesy of Fox Sports this includes a few fielding drills and a few swings.

Moran has the benefit of good bloodlines (his Brother is in the Mariners' system and his uncle is former top pick BJ Surhoff) and a great understanding of the game. He's considered a leader for the Tar Heels and generally seems to be universally liked by his peers. That said, he has 2 plus tools (Average/OBP and arm) and everything else is below-average to average for Third Base. In a better draft he might last into the 20's. In this one he may well go Top 10. He's likely to be in the Majors within a few seasons, but he's likely never much more than a league average Third Baseman. If he moves from Third in the Pros he'll likely be a below average Left Fielder or First Baseman.

Colin's rather outdated Perfect Game Profile, attached becuase the Picture makes him look 12 (he seems to have been ~16 at the time).

An interesting compilation of notes I stumbled across while researching. Some good bits of into here.

A really good Scouting take from Mark Anderson on his blog.