Top Prospect #35: 2B Tim Moss

It was all about speed in the 2003 Draft. The Phillies used their first three picks on speed burners and started them all off at Batavia. The plan was for all three to develop together and work their fast magic through the Phillies farm system. Michael Bourn and Javon Moran both excelled with the Muck Dogs, but ironically, the guy the Phillies had the most excitement about struggled. Still, Tim Moss has raw talent and of course, speed enough to work his way back into the race.

The Phillies didn't have picks in the first two rounds of the 2003 Draft and just sort of bided their time waiting to make their first selection. Finally, their turn came and the Phillies didn't waste much time jumping on second base prospect Tim Moss out of the University of Texas. The longhorn stole 40 bases in 2002 and hit .371 for U of T's National Championship team, leaving the Phillies to salivate over the possibilities that he would bring to the organization. Speed is definitely a commodity and the Phillies system was sorely lacking in the speed department.

 

Moss did what the Phillies hoped and signed relatively quickly. They assigned him to Batavia and the plan was to sit back and watch Moss, along with Michael Bourn and Javon Moran set fire to the basepaths. While Bourn hit .280 and hit 23 bases, Moran hit .284 and swiped 27 bases. Then, there was Moss. From day one, Moss struggled to find a way to get on base. By season's end, Moss was hitting just .150 and was able to steal just 5 bases. To make matters worse, Moss was also thrown out stealing five times.

 

It's not unlikely that Bourn and Moran will start 2004 at Lakewood. It's possible that they'll hold them back for more work with the coaches and let them start again at Batavia, but a promotion is likely in the works. For Moss though, the Phillies have a decision to make. They could hope that he learned enough and send him to Lakewood, hoping for the best or they could just keep him under wraps and wait for the short season to begin at Batavia, sending him back there. It seems the latter is the likely course of action.

 

Moss didn't just struggle, he looked over matched. Whether it was adjusting to the wood bat or pressure or some other reason, Moss just never seemed to catch on to what was happening. A full one-third of Moss' hits were for extra bases and the Phillies believe he may have been trying to do too much. They'll work with him to just hit the ball and take advantage of his speed. Even defensively, Moss made 10 errors in 43 games, much too high of a rate, so it's not just his offense that needs work.

 

Moss has plenty of athletic ability. His plate discipline was pretty good in college, but suffered – like everything else – at Batavia. It's much too early to say that Moss will go down as one of those high picks who turn out to be great college players, but just never make it in professional baseball. You have to think that there is enough raw talent there that he can put it all together. If he does, Moss has the skills to be an everyday major league player and can easily be a top of the order hitter. For now though, there's a lot of work to be done.

 

Tim Moss' Career Stats

 

Year / Team

HR

RBI

AVG

SB

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

BB

SO

2003 Batavia

(Rookie)

1

11

.150

5

43

160

10

24

5

2

11

47

Minor League Totals

1

11

.150

5

43

160

10

24

5

2

11

47


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