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MLB Rookie Profile: Colin Moran, 3B, Houston Astros

Astros bring Colin Moran up from the minors; here’s a quick update

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Houston Astros Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Last night the Houston Astros promoted third baseman Colin Moran to the major league roster. Here’s a quick update.

Moran was originally drafted by the Miami Marlins in the first round in 2013 from the University of North Carolina. He came to Houston in the July 2014 Jarred Cosart and Jake Marisnick trade and has spent the last couple of years in the high minors. His 2016 season wasn’t particularly good (.259/.329/.368) in Triple-A.

Moran ranked 19th on the pre-season Houston Astros Top 20 prospects list for 2017 with the following commentary:

19) Colin Moran, 3B, Grade C+: Age 24, hit .259/.329/.368 with 10 homers, 47 walks, 124 strikeouts in 459 at-bats in Triple-A; went 3-for-23 in the majors; has the opposite problem to J.D. Davis: good past reputation as pure hitter bur with questionable power; he tried to add more power in ’16, resulting in a much higher strikeout rate but no boost in performance; defense has turned out to be very good at third base but he has to hit more than this. Perhaps he should forget about power and just concentrate on OBP and batting average. ETA 2017.

2017 has been much better: .308/.373/.543 with 18 homers (already a career high), 31 walks, and 55 strikeouts in 302 at-bats for Triple-A Fresno.

Every aspect of Moran’s hitting attack has improved this year: walks are up, strikeouts are down, isolated power is obviously way up. He is pulling the ball more often and it is working: let’s compare his spray charts from the last three seasons via MLB Farm.

Here’s 2015:

2016:

And now the much different 2017:

That’s clear progress in finding his power, but we’ll have to see if he can sustain it against major league pitching.