Tim Moss made his Double-A debut to start the 2006 season and it wasn't pretty. He started with an 0-for-25 run and never really recovered from the bad start, although he did pull his average up to a season-high .194 the week before Memorial Day. By mid-June, Moss had seen his average fall to .180 and he was sent down to High-A Clearwater for the rest of the season. The change of scenery produced an instant turn around and Moss hit .284 on the season at Clearwater.
The truth is that last season is Moss' career under a microscope. He's looked horribly bad at times only to redeem himself and turn things around to where he looks like a true infield prospect. The problem is that inconsistency isn't going to keep his status as a true prospect and he'll need to start showing that the good numbers are more than just a fluke and that they can become the norm.
Tim Moss' career stats
|YEAR / TEAM||HR||RBI||AVG||G||AB||R||H||2B||3B||SB||BB||KO||OBP|
Acquired: Drafted by the Phillies in the third round of the 2003 Draft out of the University of Texas.
Batting and Power: In 2005, Moss dramatically increased his power numbers without affecting his AB/KO numbers. In his combined stats from 2006, his power numbers fell slightly (13 compared to 17 in 2005), but his strikeout rate increased slightly as well. Looking deeper though, the biggest reason for that increase was his horrid play at Double-A Reading and the real good news is that his strikeout rate at Clearwater was a respectable one strikeout for every four at bats. The Phillies would much rather see a little less power from Moss and simply see him get on base. Moss has the potential to hit much like he did at Clearwater, but doing that consistently is the problem.
Baserunning and Speed: If Moss could build up his on-base percentage, it would be much easier to see just why the Phillies drafted this guy. He's got blazing speed and a knack for stealing bases, swiping 54 bases over the past two seasons. Keep in mind that those numbers were produced with generally sub-par on-base percentages and only hint at what he may be able to do. He's got good baserunning skills, but gets a little reckless sometimes and runs himself into outs.
Defense: Through hard work, Moss has shown some improvement defensively. He posted the highest fielding percentage of his pro career last season at Clearwater (.977) and continues to get better. The Phillies have worked with him to improve his mechanics, particularly in throwing the ball and the added instruction is paying off, which is good because Moss was next thing to being a liability defensively early in his career. He's still not stellar, but looks much better defensively.
Projection: Will Tim Moss ever put it all together? He just turned 25 and it's time to put up or shut up for Tim Moss. He'll likely start the year at Reading and needs to succeed there this time. Another season at Clearwater wouldn't do anything to improve him, so he's got to step up and show that he can climb to Double-A and be successful. Odds are that he will be better than he was in his first visit to Reading, but won't come close to the numbers that he put up at Clearwater; actually, that's okay if Moss can at least establish himself as a player who can hit Double-A pitching and isn't going to get lost in the ranks of guys who see their career fizzle and can't climb out of Class-A ball.