Moran making a statement this spring

March 11th, 2017

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Although the likely odd man out in a logjam of first basemen, has found his swing this spring. The 24-year-old first-round Draft pick in 2013 is sizzling at the plate. He hit .389 with a .476 on-base percentage and an .778 slugging percentage in his first 12 Grapefruit League games for the Astros.

"I feel good right now, made some adjustments in the offseason and I'm just glad to see positive results," said Moran, who played nine games for Houston last season, the year after he was part of a trade with the Marlins that involved , and .

Moran said he made several adjustments to his swing and is always fine-tuning his craft during Spring Training.

"Just some swing mechanics, some things that allow me to clear up some of the weaknesses I had last year," he said.

Moran, ranked 25th among Astros prospects by, attributes a good portion of his torrid spring to those tweaks.

"I think that has a lot to do with it," Moran said. "There are probably a good amount of reasons, but it's a short stint. I'm focused on putting it to good use over the course of a full season."

He'd certainly like the opportunity to do just that over the course of a 162-game schedule.

"I worked really hard to get the body ready in the offseason," Moran said. "That's what you do, keep it going throughout the season and just try to stay healthy."

But there's a plethora of talent at first base in the Astros camp. Moran is one of four first basemen on the current 40-man roster and that doesn't even count the move of from third base to first base. Still, that's something that Moran said he can't dwell on.

"I don't really worry about the uncontrollables," he said. "I just try to take care of business and kind of put faith that good things will happen if you do well. I can't control more than that."

He's certainly had some excellent family role models where baseball is concerned.

"I'm very blessed to have the role models I've had in my family," said Moran, who grew up going to his uncles' games.

One uncle, B.J. Surhoff, was a 1999 All-Star who played 19 seasons in the Major Leagues with Milwaukee, Baltimore and Atlanta. Another uncle, Rich Surhoff, pitched one season in the Majors with Philadelphia and Texas. His older brother, , is a left-handed pitcher who has spent the last seven seasons in the Minors.

"I've had baseball all my life," said the Astros prospect. "Obviously my brother, I'd just follow him around all day, everywhere, which probably got annoying, but it made me like baseball that much more."

While numbers aren't the key to a successful season in his eyes, Moran said his goals this season are geared more toward simply improving his game.

"I don't really put any type of number goals up every year, but just trying to be the same guy day in and day out," he said. "And kind of survive the ups and downs of the season better. Just trying to be consistent, that same quality at-bat every night four or five times a night."