Moss' Fresh Start Hits An Early Detour

Tim Moss came to the Phillies as a third round pick in last year's draft, but he also had the added pressure of being the highest draft pick that the Phillies had in that particular draft. When he arrived, the adjustments took time; more time than Moss or the Phillies expected. Now, just as he came to minor league camp ready to prove that he was ready to be a professional ball player, another obstacle jumped up and has sidelined Moss.

Tim Moss had quite a summer in 2003. His University of Texas team went deep into the College World Series and that was after he had learned that he was the Phillies third round pick in the June Draft. Soon after, he signed with the Phillies and received a $440,000 signing bonus, a lot of money for a young kid to deal with. Then, fatigued from the college season, he had to make the adjustment to an entirely different world of baseball.

Perhaps the biggest adjustment was getting used to a wood bat. "I didn't think it would be that tough to adjust to," said Moss. Perhaps, the fatigue played a factor. Whatever the reason, Moss struggled at Batavia and hit just .150 for the Muck Dogs. Moss admits that he was trying to do too much too soon and he fell behind other young players at Batavia which only served to put more pressure on him.

The winter was long for Moss, who was looking to come into camp and prove that everything that happened last season in the New York – Penn League was a fluke. This time around, there would be no excuses. The Phillies, despite Moss' weak season at Batavia, had ticketed him for Low A Lakewood. Odds are that he would be there with Michael Bourn and Jovan Moran, two other speedsters from the 2003 Draft. The three had played together at Batavia with Bourn hitting .280 and Moran finishing with a .284 average. The three combined to steal 55 bases, but only 5 of those belonged to Moss. This season, the odds of that happening again weren't very good because Moss figured to be much more of a contributor in the stolen base categories.

Now, with minor league camp ready to break in about ten days, Moss has yet to really hit the field. He just started to do light practicing, mainly just some fielding, this past week. He has yet to step into the batter's box or play in any minor league games. "When I came into camp and took my physical, they found out I had high blood pressure," laments Moss. The diagnosis came as a complete shock. Moss had never had issues with his blood pressure and neither had anyone in his family. While medications can control his blood pressure, the real trick is to find out what caused the problem in the first place. Moss has undergone a major round of testing and hopes to be cleared to practice at full speed very soon. After all, time is winding down.

"I want to be out there," said Moss.

If all of the test results come back clear, Moss will hit the field running; literally. He hopes to make up for lost time and hopes that he won't need to spend any extra time in Clearwater working out and preparing for the season. Instead, he wants to start the year with his compadres from the 2003 Draft and make up for what was basically a lost season last year at Batavia.

The potential is there. The talent is there. For now though, all Moss can do is sit and watch instead of truly being a part of what is happening on the practice fields at the Carpenter Complex in Clearwater.

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