ATLANTA -- Easing into professional baseball has been an adjustment for Colin Moran, the Marlins' top pick in the June First-Year Player Draft.
Selected sixth overall, the left-handed-hitting third baseman from the University of North Carolina signed shortly before the July 12 deadline, and he is currently at low Class A Greensboro.
Most likely, the Rye, N.Y., native will remain with the Grasshoppers for the remainder of the season. He turns 23 on Oct. 1, and in all likelihood, the Marlins will have him play in the Arizona Fall League.
"He can hit," Marlins general manager Michael Hill said. "He's a good hitter. Sound approach."
If Moran progresses as expected, he should start off next year at Advanced Class A Jupiter. From there, if he performs, the next step is the leap to Double-A Jacksonville.
It's not unrealistic to project Moran to reach the big leagues in the second half of next year, if he shows he is ready. If not, then he's looking at 2015.
At Greensboro, Moran is batting .244 with three doubles, one triple, two homers and 11 RBIs in his first 21 games. He had hit safely in eight of nine games before going 0-for-4 on Friday night.
Left-handed pitching has given him more trouble, as he is batting .194 against them in 31 at-bats. Against right-handers, he is hitting .277. But he has hit a home run against both righties and lefties.
Thus far, it's a small professional sample size for Moran, regarded as one of the top college hitters in the Draft.
"He stays within himself," Hill said. "He doesn't expand the zone too much. He's going to be a good hitter. We'll see with him, what we do in the fall, to get him closer."