UNC 3B Moran picked No. 6 overall by Marlins in MLB Draft
He didn’t go No .1 overall like his uncle, B.J. Surhoff. But he wasn’t too far away, either.
North Carolina junior third baseman Colin Moran was selected by the Miami Marlins with the sixth pick in the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft Thursday night.
Moran became the seventh first-round pick from UNC in the past eight years and the fourth to go in the top 10, joining Dustin Ackley (2nd in 2009), Andrew Miller (6th in 2006) and Matt Harvey (7th in 2010).
Ackley, Surhoff (1985), Dave Lemonds (No. 1 in 1968) and Paul Shuey (No. 2 in 1992) are the only four Tar Heels in program history to be taken higher than Moran at No. 6.
UNC signee Rob Kaminsky was also drafted in the first round as the left-handed high school pitcher/outfielder went 28th overall to the St. Louis Cardinals.
As the No. 3 hitter for the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, Moran is hitting .348 and leads the nation with 86 RBIs heading into today’s super regional game against South Carolina (1 p.m., ESPN2).
On Tuesday, Moran was named one of the three finalists for the 2013 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award, which goes to the country’s top amateur player, and on Thursday he was selected by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association as one of five finalists for the Dick Howser Trophy.
While he doesn’t have as much power as some of the other top prospects, MLB Network analyst Peter Gammons said Miami was impressed with Moran’s plate discipline. The junior has 60 walks and 22 strikeouts this season.
“They were in love with him from his workout and his interview because he’s an extremely intelligent hitter,” Gammons said.
There were rumors that Moran could go as high as No. 1 overall to Houston — the Astros’ owner and general manager came to UNC’s Boshamer Stadium for a game against Virginia last month. Instead, Houston chose Stanford senior pitcher Mark Appel.
Still, Moran’s place in the draft — MLB’s value for the No. 6 pick is $3.5165 million — is a far cry from where he started. The Rye, N.Y., native was undrafted out of high school and wasn’t offered a scholarship to UNC until late in the recruiting process.
But the 6-3, 215-pound third baseman excelled as soon as he got to Chapel Hill. Moran hit a team-high .335 and had an ACC-high 71 RBIs as a freshman, and led the team in hitting again as a sophomore (.365).
Colin’s brother, Brian Moran, was a seventh-round pick by the Seattle Mariners in 2009 and is currently pitching in Triple-A.