Top Prospect #12: OF Michael Bourn

As the Phillies sought to build a collection of speed burners in the 2003 Draft, Michael Bourn came to the Phillies in the fourth round and went on to finish fifth in the New York – Penn League in stolen bases. Bourn isn't just all about speed though and the Phillies think that he could be on a fast track to the City of Brotherly Love.

It's not out of the question that Michael Bourn could be closer to being a major leaguer than he is today. Back in 2000, the Astros selected Bourn in the 19th round, but instead of heading to Houston with the Astros, Bourn headed to the University of Houston on a full scholarship. While at Houston, Bourn suffered a few injuries, but still found time to swipe 90 bases in three seasons. When he arrived at Batavia, he started running almost from the moment his feet hit the soil in the sleepy northern New York town and he didn't stop until he had stolen 23 bases for the Muck Dogs.

If you just look at Michael Bourn's speed, you're not getting the whole picture. This is a kid who is disciplined and understands the game of baseball. The discipline shows at the plate as he watches pitches outside the strike zone and let's them go by. The ones he can do something with, he reacts to, but doesn't try to do too much. While at Batavia, Bourn drew 23 walks and struck out 28 times. The strikeout numbers should fall and it won't be surprising if the walks rise even higher.

One of the first things that the Phillies did was to dispatch Milt Thompson to work with Bourn and draft mates Tim Moss and Javon Moran on the skills of bunting. Again, Bourn moved to the head of the class and worked long and hard on learning how to bunt. Mentally, bunting isn't a foreign idea to Bourn, who knows he won't survive on power or on just speed alone and chooses instead to find various ways to use the speed that he has.

If you want a flaw in Bourn's game, it's probably that he doesn't have a good arm. His range and defensive instincts are solid, but once he gets to the ball, getting it back in quickly and on-line isn't the easiest achievement for the young outfielder. The Phillies have moved Bourn and Moran back-and-forth between left field and center field and will likely continue that routine as they move through the minor league system.

Bourn will start 2004 at Clearwater and will continue to work on the little things that he needs to be a major leaguer. It shouldn't take Bourn too long to progress and he should be able to move at least at a lever per season pace and possibly a little quicker.

Michael Bourn's Career Stats

 

Year/Team

HR

RBI

AVG

SB

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

BB

KO

Career Univ. of Houston Stats

2

52

.320

90

171

644

166

206

15

6

116

139

Career Minor League Stats

0

4

.280

23

35

125

12

35

0

1

23

28


Philly Baseball Insider Top Stories