2003 Draft: Phillies Grabbing Speedsters

The Phillies said they were going after need in the draft and they meant it. With their first three picks - rounds three through five - the Phillies started to fill the need for speed throughout the organization. Tim Moss, Michael Bourn and Javon Moran all have speed to burn and all have solid defensive skills.

Tim Moss was a surprise. Moss spent his college career at the University of Texas playing shortstop and second base. The Phillies drafted him as a second baseman and made that distinction clear. The speedy Moss is athletic and has leadoff hitter written all over him. It doesn't hurt that he comes from a program that won the national championship in 2002, with Moss hitting .371 and stealing 40 bases. In 72 games, Moss banged out 112 hits, including 16 doubles and 7 triples.

In the fourth round, the Phillies went to the outfield and they stayed in the Texas college ranks to do it. Michael Bourn is another speedster, who stole 32 bases for the University of Houston in 2002 and 35 in 2001. Like Moss, the left-hand hitting Bourn doesn't play the power game, but he is a solid hitter and defensive player.

With the catching spot being a dire need of the Phillies, you had to figure round five would be a catcher. Not so. Instead, the Phillies went for more speed and took outfielder Javon Moran from Auburn University. Moran will need some work offensively, but he is one of the fastest players around and has excellent defensive skills.

The Phillies have also drafted three players that are considered very signable, meaning they may be able to get them into camp sooner rather than later.

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