Phillies Prospect #23: Javon Moran

Javon Moran was part of the speed draft of 2003 and then wound up being a trading chip to bring Cory Lidle to town. Ironically, his greatest value to the Phillies might again be as a trading chip.

Acquired: Was originally drafted by the Phillies in the 5th round of the 2003 Draft, but was traded to Cincinnati in the Cory Lidle trade. The Phillies reacquired him from the Reds along with Brad Key for Jeff Conine.

B:T: R  / Height: 5' 11" / Weight: 175 lbs.

Birth Date: September 30, 1982

2007 Team: Reading (67 g), Ottawa (39 g), Clearwater (3 g), GCL Phillies (2 g)

Positions Played in 2007: CF (101 g), LF (6 g), RF (3 g)

School: Auburn University

In the 2003 Draft, the Phillies were looking for speed. Tim Moss, Michael Bourn and Javon Moran were all taken with the first three draft picks that they had (in rounds three through five) and were determined to start putting speed in their system and doing it through the draft. As time went on, Tim Moss fizzled and Javon Moran was shipped to Cincinnati for pitcher Cory Lidle. It appeared that Michael Bourn was going to be the last speedster standing and he even reached the majors with the Phillies, but was then dealt to Houston for Brad Lidge. In the meantime, the Phillies sent Jeff Conine to Cincinnati in December of 2006 and brought Moran back to the organization.

In his time with Cincinnati Moran showed progress and was a pleasant surprise for the Phillies last season as he put up strong numbers at Double-A Reading and earned a promotion to Triple-A. He won't make the big league club out of spring training, but could be an option for them later in the season or could also be a trading chip should he continue to progress. With the emergence of Greg Golson, there isn't much of a future for another player much like him in the organization and Moran's greatest value to the Phillies could be in a deal to bring another piece of the puzzle to the Phillies.

Batting and Power: Javon Moran has hit .299 through five minor league seasons and figures to have the ability to put up similar numbers in the majors when he gets the chance. His move to Triple-A last season was the first time he had reached that level and he'll likely be back there again in 2008. Power isn't a part of his game and that isn't any surprise to anyone.

Baserunning and Speed: As we said, the 2003 Draft was all built around speed in the first three picks that the Phillies had in rounds three through five. Moran was the lowest of those three picks, but isn't short of any speed. The main question mark was how he would get on base and that appears to have been figured out. While he doesn't necessarily have good enough skills to become a league leader in stolen bases, he'll strike some fear into opposing pitchers.

Defense: Moran also uses his speed defensively and has become a pretty good defensive outfielder. His arm strength and accuracy simply aren't there, but he'll get to balls that other outfielders simply can't get to. He can play any of the outfield positions, but is obviously best suited to center field.

Projection: It just doesn't figure that Moran has much of a future in Philadelphia. Greg Golson is ahead of him on the depth chart and there doesn't seem to be much need for his services. That's not to say that Moran can't play in the majors, because there are other clubs where he would fit perfectly. The Phillies are likely hoping that Moran burns up the International League at Triple-A Lehigh Valley through the early going of 2008 and that he can become a prime trading chip by the trade deadline. If he can do just that, his value to the Phillies will be huge. Should he struggle at Triple-A, he'll likely become more of a Chris Roberson type player than a player like Michael Bourn who helped to bring Brad Lidge to town.

ETA: On some teams, Moran could be close to the majors, but in all honesty, he likely needs a full season at Triple-A. He certainly would have value to a number of teams and isn't far away from being ready for the show.

Comparison: While he doesn't have Bourn's speed, he is the same type of player. He's got the defensive skills to be a late inning replacement and should develop into a player who can play everyday and hit at the top of the lineup for a long time.

Javon Moran's career stats

Year Team HR RBI AVG G AB R H 2B 3B SB BB SO OBP SLG
2003 Batavia 1 12 .284 60 250 33 71 9 3 27 16 32 .326 .356
2004 Lakewood 2 38 .285 101 421 73 120 18 9 39 24 78 .340 .385
2004 Dayton 0 7 .383 25 94 11 36 2 0 11 10 15 .448 .404
2005 Sarasota 2 23 .329 53 210 35 69 4 2 13 14 32 .378 .395
2005 Chattanooga 0 2 .301 23 83 14 25 5 1 7 5 21 .341 .386
2006 Sarasota 0 3 .372 10 43 5 16 2 0 4 2 5 .413 .419
2006 Chattanooga 1 12 .316 63 250 34 79 11 3 16 11 26 .351 .396
2007 GCL Phils 0 0 .000 2 3 1 0 0 0 1 2 0 .400 .000
2007 Clearwater 0 0 .154 3 13 3 2 0 0 1 2 6 .267 .154
2007 Reading 2 19 .298 67 255 52 76 12 2 24 34 38 .388 .384
2007 Ottawa 0 3 .241 39 170 26 41 7 3 5 11 42 .299 .318
Minor League Totals 8 119 .299 446 1792 287 535 70 23 148 131 295 .355 .377

Stats courtesy of The Baseball Cube.


 

 


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