Bourn: "I'm Just Trying To Move Forward"

A lot was made during the off-season about moving both Chris Roberson and Michael Bourn to AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre. Well, Roberson is at AAA, but Bourn is back for another season at Reading.

Had Michael Bourn moved just one level at a time, he'd be coming into his first season at the AA level. Instead, he jumped over Clearwater last season to arrive in Reading one season ahead of schedule. Now, he's back at AA to start this season, and while he's surprised, he's not upset.

"There's nothing I can do about it, it's fine by me. I'll just go out here and play hard," said the 23 year old outfielder.

The Phillies haven't lost any confidence in Bourn and the move to AA isn't to send any sort of message. Actually, Bourn's numbers at Reading weren't overpowering, unless you consider the fact that he had skipped the High-A level. Bourn hit .268 at Reading last season, but it's a far cry from the .317 average that he put up at Lakewood in 2004 or the .280 average he posted in his first professional stint at Batavia in 2003. It's likely that Bourn will improve on his AA stats and be moved along to Scranton before the end of the season.

Meanwhile, Bourn joins a Reading club that has an impressive roster of pitchers and plenty of talented offensive players that could make this club something special. Bourn figures to be a big part of the offense, giving the R-Phils some speed at the top of the order and a quality center fielder to anchor the outfield.

Bourn also gives Reading a great attitude that speaks volumes about his maturity. "If you sit around and mope about it, you're just wasting time. I'm just trying to move forward, that's what it's all about," explained Bourn.

As for how he'll approach the game, Bourn laughs and assures everyone that he's going to be playing as hard as ever, keeping his eye on moving ahead. Some mention Bourn as the Phillies' center fielder of the future and he's looking to improve in every part of his game, especially since the Phillies didn't tell him anything specific that they're looking for him to improve upon. "I don't really ask about that. I must have not done something right last year," laughed the young outfielder.

As for being the center fielder of the future, Bourn knows that there's a lot of competition, but he's philosophical about his future. "You've just got to believe in yourself and know that you can do it," said Bourn. As for the competition, Bourn has nothing but good things to say. "Everyone from Julian Williams to Greg Golson and Chris Roberson and Aaron Rowand and Shane Victorino has a lot of talent. That's a tough group to stand out in."

The Phillies don't need to rush Michael Bourn, since they control what happens to Rowand through next season. It stands to figure though that there will likely be fans looking for Bourn to step into Citizens Bank Park as early as next season to begin his reign in center field.

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