Today’s installment in the Spring Training Spinners series focuses on outfielder Brandon Moss, who joined the Lowell Spinners in his sophomore campaign in 2003.
Brandon Moss – 2003 Spinners statistics: .237 BA, 7 HR, 34 RBI, 53 SO, 15 BB in 228 AB
Drafted as a second baseman out of Loganville (GA) High School in the eighth round of the 2002 Amateur Draft, Moss had a somewhat disappointing start to his Red Sox career, batting .204 without a home run in 113 at-bats with the rookie Gulf Coast League.
Nevertheless, Moss was bumped up to Lowell as a 19-year-old, joining a 2003 roster that has already featured four Major Leaguers (Abe Alvarez, David Murphy, Matt Murton, and Jonathan Papelbon). As one of the team’s youngest players, Brandon hit only .237, but led the Spinners with a team-high 7 home runs in 228 at-bats, the second-highest mark on the team. Moss hit much better at LeLacheur Park than on the road; all but one of his home runs came at home, where he hit .264.
After his moderately successful season in Lowell, Moss took off with a massive 2004 campaign. He took home South Atlantic League MVP honors after hitting .339 with 13 home runs, 101 RBI, and 19 stolen bases in 109 games with Low-A Augusta. And the season only got better when he was promoted to High-A Sarasota in early August.
In 23 games with Sarasota, Moss continued his hitting barrage, batting .422 with two homers and two stolen bases. It was a season to remember for Brandon, and a season that not only created a whole lot of hype, but also propelled him all the way to Double-A Portland as a 22-year-old in 2005.
Adjusting to Double-A took some time. In his first season with Portland, Moss hit .268 with 16 home runs and 35 combined doubles and triples while leading the SeaDogs in at-bats. It was an All-Star season, but after the hype of 2004, some still considered it a disappointment.
After a lukewarm Arizona Fall League — he hit just .236 — Moss repeated Double-A last year, making substantial progress by hitting .285 with 12 homers and a team-high 83 RBI and 145 hits. He carried Portland with a .361 batting average and 5 home runs in the playoffs, winning playoff MVP honors for himself and the Eastern League Championship for the SeaDogs.
Moss has demonstrated his hitting prowess at Double-A — twice. It’s likely he’ll begin 2007 in Triple-A before making a run at the Red Sox 2008 roster. At 24 years old, there’s still time for Moss to make it big in Boston.