Nobody knows Michael Bourn better than Reading Phillies beat writer Mike Drago, who wrote about the speedy center fielder for 1 ½ seasons. Writing on his blog, Drago gives Bourn his graduation grade.
Bourn, considered the best Phillies position player in the minor leagues, was promoted to Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre before Tuesday’s game. Most fans were surprised the 23-year-old was back in Reading for a second season, but nobody was more surprised than Bourn himself.
Marcus Hayes of the Philadelphia Daily News wondered this morning if Bourn could be knocking on the door to a Philadelphia promotion next season, citing blazing speed, declining strikeout numbers and excellent defense, all raves from minor league director Steve Noworyta.
However, Drago, who’s studied the slashing outfielder for close to two seasons for the Reading Eagle newspaper, has his reservations.
"The level of his game raised slightly over the past three months, but not a huge amount," wrote Drago. "He did some things better, especially at the plate. But when you compare his numbers this season to what he did last year, there's only a small difference, barely obvious to the naked eye.
"... after watching Bourn this season, and after not seeing him dominate this level his second time around, my projections for him as a major league player have dropped.
"I don't see him becoming much more than a fourth outfielder, a guy who can play occasionally, help out as a pinch runner and defensive replacement.
"Unless he makes another quantum leap with his game, I don't see him being an everyday starting outfielder who can make a difference with his offensive game."
Click here for his full report on Bourn’s final season in Reading.