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While Justin Williams is a raw prospect with endless power potential, Colin Moran is the complete opposite.
In fact, Moran is one of the most complete hitters in the draft.
As a freshman at UNC in 2011, Moran was voted by Baseball America as a First-Team All-America and Freshman Player of the Year. Moran hit .335 in 66 games with 46 runs and an ACC-best 71 RBI. Moran also slugged 20 doubles, two triples and nine home runs en route to a .540 slugging percentage.
But Moran’s best tool is his plate discipline. In 248 at-bats as a freshman, Moran drew 47 walks while striking out only 33 times.
However, 2012 was a huge setback for Moran.
Moran managed to hit a strong .365 in 41 games. But many questions arose of his true extra-base power. He only hit three home runs all year. Despite the superb batting average, Moran’s slugging percentage was only .494.
Even worse, Moran missed a month after he punched a bathroom door and broke his hand in anger after a loss to bitter rival, NC State. Moran committed a key error as the Tar Heels lost, 3-1.
While that incident may bring up character questions about Moran, I believe it shows his passion for winning and how personally he takes every single game. In fact, that is the exact type of attitude I would want with my players (minus the broken hand, of course).
Moreover, the 6’3”, 215-pound Moran has come back with a vengeance this season and put to rest any questions about his power.
Through 36 games, Moran is hitting an unbelievable .401 with eight doubles, nine home runs, 56 RBI and a superb .648 slugging percentage. He is second in the nation in RBI and first in the nation in runs, with 51.
Yet that is not even the most impressive stat this season for Moran; in 142 at-bats, Moran has 35 walks and just eight strikeouts. That equates to an unbelievable 17.75 at-bats per strikeout. Moran already has better poise and discipline than most, if not all, major leaguers.
The 2013 draft, as mentioned earlier, is short the shoo-in for the top picks. Unfortunately, due to Moran’s monstrous junior season, he stands a good chance of going in the top five.
But if Moran does drop to the Mets at No. 11, they must draft him. David Wright is the third baseman for the next decade, but Moran is a great defender and could play a number of other positions.
Moran may not make it out of the top five, but if he falls to the Mets in this year’s unpredictable draft, he is the best pure hitter in the draft.