Colin is the younger brother of former University of North Carolina reliever Brian Moran (All-American closer in 2009). Brian signed with the Mariners' organization after being drafted in 2009.
"He's been a huge help my whole life," Colin said. "I talk to him [about] just about everything. Ever since I was a freshman, I've given him a call to talk to him about anything."
Colin is the nephew of former Baltimore Orioles' star B.J. Surhoff,who played for 19 years in the Majors after starring as an All-American at N.C. State.
In 2010, Moran graduated from Iona Prep in New Rochelle, New York, then accepted a baseball scholarship to the University of North Carolina.
In 2011, Colin was named Baseball America's Freshman of the Year after hitting .335-9-69 for the University of North Carolina.
Moran is quiet and mild-mannered off the field. He has a low-energy approach that eventually turned off the Marlins by the end of the 2014 season.
"I think I'm a little different on the field than I am off," he said before being dealt. "Off the field I'm more relaxed and easygoing. I'm a really big competitor. I'm one of those guys who hates to lose. I try to do my best."
Colin has a very good understanding of the game.
Moran throws right and hits left, just like Surhoff did. Surhoff attended Rye High School, while his nephew went to Iona Prep. Moran went undrafted out of high school, while his uncle was taken in the fifth round by the Yankees in 1982.
"Not really, to be honest with you," Moran said when asked if he thought about joining Surhoff as a No. 1 overall pick. "I remember being back in high school and saying that I wanted to be drafted out of high school like he was, and my mom said I was crazy. If it works out, it works out. I can't control that. It would be nice, but whatever happens, happens. It'd be nice to be drafted by whoever drafts me."
"I really don't pay attention to stuff like that," said Moran. "I just play my own game and let the rest happen. I don't worry about hitting home runs or driving in runs. I just try to take it at-bat by at-bat."
That even-keeled approach has clearly worked for Moran, who has improved on both sides of the ball since he traveled south from New York as a tall and thin infielder. The claim is that boys can become men in college, and it seems that's the case with Moran, and not just because he's beefed up from the 180 pounds he weighed when he arrived to the 210-215 pounds he says he carried in June 2013.
His uncle. Rich Surhoff, pitched briefly in the big leagues, in 1985, the same year his younger brother went No. 1 overall. B.J. Surhoff went on to play parts of 19 seasons in the big leagues, collecting 2,326 hits and 1,153 RBIs along the way. His uncle has been quite a role model along the way.
"I don't necessarily ask him for advice too often," Moran said. "I learned so much from watching him play. He set a really good example on and off the field. I learned a lot just from watching him." (Jonathan Mayo - MLB.com - 5/23/13)
Moran, a junior All-American at UNC, was a finalist for the 2013 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award for the top amateur player in the country. He was named the 2013 Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year.
Moran grew up rooting for the Yankees, and he is a Derek Jeter fan.
Colin is a grinder, like his uncle, B.J. Surhoff was. But Moran's professional, even-keel demeanor often strikes scouts as low-energy, especially when he turns in bottom-of-the-scale run times.
In 2014, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Moran as the second-best prospect in the Marlins organization. He was at #7 in the offseason before 2015 spring training. In 2016, Colin was rated #8. He was rated #30 in the Astros organization in the spring of 2017.
Before 2015 spring camp opened, Colin spent most of the offseason working out in Jupiter, Florida, before heading to his alma mater in January to work on baseball activities.
Nine days after being carted off the field at Camden Yards, Colin was set for surgery at Houston Methodist Hospital. His father, Bill, was in the waiting room. Moran's fiancée, Kelsey, left his side and joined Bill with a pre-operation message from his son.
"Colin said to you, 'I hope during this that they don't have to shave my beard,'" Bill recalled, laughing. "Then, the other thing he said is, 'Gee, I wonder if I'm going to be traded after I come out of here.'"
It was July 31, 2017, MLB's non-waiver Trade Deadline. Their greatest concern was Moran's health, of course. That had been the case since Moran fouled a ball off his face and they spent the night with him in a downtown Baltimore trauma center, hoping and praying his vision and well-being would remain intact. Still, they scanned Twitter for Astros trade rumors.
"The main thought was making it through," Bill said. "But there was a small, little thought there." Moran was not traded that day, and he eventually made it back onto the field in an Astros uniform. Nonetheless, the swing that hospitalized him may have changed the course of the 25-year-old's career and the Pirates' future at third base.
The next morning, Randall asked Moran where he wanted to have surgery: Baltimore or Houston? Moran felt more comfortable with the Astros' team doctors in Houston. But there was a problem. Colin had a concussion, a fractured orbital floor and other facial fractures. Doctors advised him to keep his mouth open, fearing the pressure from even a sneeze would aggravate his injuries and impair his vision. So that flight from Baltimore to Houston? Not an option.
That left Bill and Kelsey to get Moran clear across the southeastern United States. The Astros hooked up the family with a rental car, and Bill made the 1,400-mile drive in two days. "Without them, I don't know what I would have done," Moran said.
After the operation came a period of rest and tests to check Moran's vision. Each day brought improvement. Eventually, after weeks in a hotel, it was time to go home. That meant Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. -- not far from the Astros' Spring Training complex in West Palm Beach, where Moran and Albert retooled his swing last offseason. Moran still couldn't fly, though, so Bill got back behind the wheel. They drove straight through the night this time, Bill said -- whatever it took to get his son and Kelsey home. "He likes to drive," Moran said, grinning.
If he didn't, he learned to like it. Moran grew up in New York, but southern states offered better baseball opportunities for him and his brother, Brian. So Diahne and Bill would drive the boys to play in Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida. One summer, Bill figured, they racked up at least 35,000 miles and scheduled weekly oil changes.
With the driving done and his concussion tests passed, Moran checked into the Astros' facility. More eye tests. Light cardio on an exercise bike. After about a week, he started feeling closer to normal. Living at home -- where Bill described Kelsey's care as "unbelievable" -- made the rehab work easier for Moran.
"You quickly realize when you jump something too quick," Moran said. "I was pushing to do more every day, but the trainers were good at keeping me back."
On Aug. 31, 2017, a month after surgery, Moran began a Minor League rehab assignment. The Astros rewarded him with a September callup, but by the time he returned, Correa was back and Alex Bregman had established himself at third for the eventual World Series champions. The golden opportunity that once existed had vanished. (Berry - mlb.com - 3/6/18)
June 6, 2013: The Marlins made Moran their #1 pick in the draft, the 6th pick overall pick, out of the University of North Carolina, via scout Joel Matthews.
July 12, 2013: Moran reached agreement on a contract with Miami. The contract was for slot value, which is $3,516,500. A left-handed hitter, Moran was regarded as one of the top college hitters in the draft. He helped lead North Carolina to the College World Series. At UNC in 2013, Moran batted .345 with 13 home runs and 91 RBIs.
July 31, 2014: Colin was traded to the Astros. Houston traded RHP Jarred Cosart, LF Enrique Hernandez and OF Austin Wates to the Marlins for CF Jake Marisnick, Moran, and RHP Francis Martes.
- Jan. 13, 2018: The Pirates dealt Cole, their No. 1 starter and former No. 1 overall pick, to the Astros for right-hander Joe Musgrove, third baseman Colin Moran, reliever Michael Feliz and outfield prospect Jason Martin.
|Birth City:||Port Chester, NY|
|Draft:||Marlins #1 - 2013 - Out of Univ. of No. Carolina|
Moran's bat projects as a plus tool. He hits for both batting average and some power. He has a smooth lefthanded swing and focuses on line drives up the middle rather than power, which should come down the road, hopefully.
He has the bat speed and strength for at least average pop. But Colin's swing is geared to hit for average, manipulating the bat to produce liners to the gaps. He knows the strike zone, so he projects as at least an average hitter with modest on-base ability.
Colin is nice and loose at the plate. He gets in a good power position with his hands, then lets the bat go, taking a hard swing. He has plenty of strength and leverage in his swing. He starts from a very open stance but squares up with his timing step. He will occasionally connect on a long home run, but his approach is geared to stay back, avoid getting fooled and use the whole field with a small load to his swing.
His power will determine how much impact he has in the big leagues. So far it perplexes scouts—he flashes above-average raw power, but you don't see it often enough in games. Though he has pull power, when he’s going well he’ll take what the pitcher gives him and drive it hard into the gaps, especially in left-center field.
Moran projects as a run-producing .300 hitter with the size and strong hands to put up 20 homers a year when/if he learns to better pull the ball.
"He doesn’t pull the ball right now, and I’m not sure why he didn’t pull the ball much,” said a pro scout with an American League club. “He wasn’t flashy, and he’s not a big athlete, but he has definite ability and feel to hit, with a very handsy swing.”
Moran has a patient approach. He has very good pitch recognition and strike-zone discipline, giving you a solid at-bat most every trip to the plate. He is just a pure, solid hitter who makes good adjustments. He has a good at-bat almost every trip to the plate because he knows what he's doing at the plate.
Colin draws a lot of walks. So he is on base a lot.
He's known as a polished hitter, with a sweet swing and an excellent idea at the plate. Colin controls the strike zone and rarely chases a pitch
"When he's going good, he has a way of finding holes," said Tar Heels coach Mike Fox in 2013. "He's got the ability to use all that open space out there. Some hitters have that more than others."
July 17, 2013: In his first professional at-bat, which was for the Greensboro Bats (SAL-Marlins), Moran mashed a home run off starter Dan Camarena to right field in the first inning of his club's 4-3 victory.
Moran has earned comparisons with Bill Mueller and Dave Magadan as a third baseman lacking profile power.
- In second half of the 2015 season, he hit all nine of his homers. He started rotating his hips more effictively, getting his hands out even quicker, and transferring his weight to help maximize his power.
- In Triple A Fresno in 2016, Moran hit .259 with 10 home runs and a below-average .697 OPS for the Pacific Coast League, and his strikeout rate jumped without a corresponding bump in his power. At his best, Moran has shown himself to be an above-average hitter with the power to hit 10-12 home runs. (Spring 2017)
Colin lacks foot quickness at third base, where he had to work to become an average defender. He is not a quick-twitch athlete but should be able to stay at third base, where he shows a plus arm and improved footwork. He lacks foot speed and agility.
Moran just has a real natural rhythm to play the game—with natural instincts and reactions at the hot corner. That is the only reason he is playable at third base.
He's obviously a below-average defender, lacking first-step quickness and a lack of athleticism.
His lack of speed and quickness will limit him to being anything more than an average third baseman. But he makes all the plays on balls he can get to.
And his above-average arm (55 or 60 grade, on the 20-80 scouting scale) is impressive from the hot corner. His throws are accurate, too.
- With below-average defense, people still really like what his bat provides.
- Colin is a lumbering, at times even awkward, runner. He has far-below-average speed—a 20 or 25 on the 20-80 scouting scale. But he can rev it up somewhat when he's digging for an extra base.
March 2012: A broken right hand cost Moran 21 games with North Carolina his sophomore year. Colin let his temper get the best of him after he made a throwing error. He punched a wall and broke his hand.
April 2-23, 2014: Moran was expected to miss about three weeks because of a medial collateral ligament sprain in his left knee.
May 1-29, 2015: Colin suffered a non-displaced fracture in his jaw and was placed on the DL. Moran was sliding back into second base during the top of the first and an errant throw struck him in the neck area. He was immediately removed from the game.
June 12-21, 2015: Moran was back on the DL.
May 3-13, 2017: Colin was on the DL.
- July 23-Sept 17, 2017: Colin was on the DL with facial fractures after he fouled a pitch of his face and eye.