Friday, May 31, 2013

Colin Moran Buzz

The biggest buzz in the industry is Kieth Law projecting Colin Moran  to go first in his latest mock. Law explains because Moran is not likely to go until fifth with Cleveland, he would likely accept a four million dollar bonus considering that the slot value for number five is valued at $3,787,000. The Astros would then in theory use the four million or so they saved to secure elite first round talents with their second and third picks. This is essentially like trading down for picks in the NFL.  

Last year the Astros used a similar "portfolio" approach when they bypassed Mark Appel in favor of Carlos Correa, and in turn were able to snag prep talents like Rio Ruiz and Lance McCullers later on. The general consensus on this approach was on the whole very positive, as most feel that Correa had just as much upside as Appel, and he was a true 1-1 talent. The difference is, I don't think anyone feels the same way about Moran. Sure, he is a top 10 prospect in this draft, and has an extremely high floor, but just how high is his ceiling? Most put a 60 on his bat and about a 50 on his power tool. Those grades are roughly equivalent to a .285 average and around 15 home runs annually, and if he stays at third base those numbers would probably make him above average at the hot corner. But that is a big if. I just don't see Moran as having the natural foot speed to stick, and if he moves across the diamond those numbers make him just a middle of the pack first baseman. Besides, the Astros already have a pretty good first baseman in John Singleton, who probably has more upside than Moran, at least with the bat. You are certainly going to get some good value by taking Moran, but that is not the kind of player that transforms perennial 100 game loser into a playoff contender. 

So if Houston were to go with Moran, one of the Big Three talents in Gray, Appel, and Bryant would have to fall out. Chicago will almost certainly take a pitcher, but I am not sure which one. Appel has appeared to have been have their guy since day one, but it has leaked recently that Theo loves Gray. Next is Colorado, who has been projected to take Bryant for a while now, and makes sense given how his bat would play in Coors Field. On the flip side, the Rockies have historically struggled to assemble quality starting pitching, so the chance to snag a potential number one or two like Appel or Gray might just be too much to pass up. If Bryant slides, he won't get past Cleveland because they have been in on Moran all year, and Bryant is a much better version of him. I don't see Gray falling out of the first five picks either. However, what if Appel were to fall? How ironic would it be if the Astros screwed him on two consecutive years? If he gets past Boston (which I don't think he will) I really don't think anyone else could afford to pay him, the penalties for going over slot are just too harsh. Even with this being a "down year" their should be plenty of drama on draft night, so stay tuned. 

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