3/7/12

The Keepers - #11 - SP - Akeel Morris

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11.         SP         Akeel Morris:

7-17-10: - Morris is a newbie with the Mets and only pitched in his second professional game last night; however, it was his first start and he got off to a good one. Obviously on a strict pitch count, he went: 2.0-IP, 0-ER, 1-K, 2-BB. That gives him a two-game ERA of 0.00 which works for me. Too early to throw a parade, but worth writing about on a slow night for standouts.

4-1-11: - I had hoped that Morris would go to Savannah this season but he told me yesterday that he is remaining in extended camp when the teams break. I assume that means he will pitch SP1 in Brooklyn.

7-30-11: - I was quite disappointed that Morris didn’t start this season for a full season team. He is a true pitching prospect who brings a lot of heat to the table. Tonight, he pitched five more innings for Kingsport and produced nine more strikeouts. That’s 23 in the last three games and 49 for the season in 34.2-IP. This is Akeel’s game and, hopefully, he will refine the rest of it as he matures. Don’t forget this guy. He has the potential to go all the way.

8-12-11: - Stock Down – SP Akeel Morris – You know I’m big on this kid, but Friday night just didn’t happen…  0.1-IP, only one hit given up, 5-R (!), 4-BB… chalk it up to a bad night. Seasonal ERA now 4.28.

8-23-11: - #25: -    SP Akeel Morris – Okay, this is one we may be talking an awful lot about in the next 24 months. Morris has all the tools needed to be a mid-to-top starter in the pros. All that’s needed here is time, training, and health.  He’s still only 18-years old but his tools alone have him 56-Ks in 46.1-IP. There’s also 32-BB so there is room for improvement. The Mets will take their time with this raw product; however, he has spent two seasons stateside, so I expect him to start in Savannah next spring.

10-1-11 Interview:  

Mack:  Morning folks. This morning we have the pleasure of talking with one of the exciting young starters in the Mets system, Akeel Morris. Welcome Akeel. I assume you are home and winding down from the season?

Morris:          I was home and did reflect on the season, but right now as we speak I'm at instructional league.

Mack:  Okay... Akeel, you were a 10th round pick in 2010, out of Charlotte Amalie (VI) High School and played last season for the GCL Mets. Tell us what it was like going from school to the grind of pitching every five starts.

Morris:          For me it was a big transition. I had to commit myself to playing baseball at a higher intensity every day and condition my arm to pitch every 5 days instead 1 time a week.

Mack:  I was hoping to see you in Savannah this past season, but it seems that the right thing to do was play a year at K-Port (3-2, 3.86, 61-K, 51.1-IP). Were you happy with your season?

Morris:  Yeah, I think I had a good season. There are things I has to work on but in time those other things will come together.

Mack:  Akeel, I now live in a small community and have covered high school baseball in my county. One of the problems we have here in identifying prospect talent is the lack of competition many of these players have. It's the same kind of concern I showed at draft time for the choice of Brandon Nimmo. American Legion ball in Wyoming isn't a very good test. My question to you is... I assume the quality of competition in the Virgin Islands was below the norm. Did you find that to be true once you came "stateside"?

Morris:          I feel coming up playing baseball in the Virgin Islands was very competitive. There is no doubt there is a lot of talent down there, but, after a certain age, baseball start to slow down in terms of games played. And coming here stateside and playing baseball, to me the difference is players stateside takes the game really serious, and they play a lot more baseball.

Mack:  You are relatively a new name to many of my readers, so please... fill everyone in on "what you're throwing" and what you consider is your "go-to" pitch?

Morris:  I throw fastball, change up and curveball.  For my off speed pitches, my change-up is usually the go to pitch for me.

Michael S.:   Hey Akeel, this is Michael Scannell, who also writes here on Mack's Mets. Are there any pro pitchers (past or present) that you would compare yourself to and/or model your game after?

Morris:  Well, I like to see Josh Beckett and Tim Lincecum pitch. My favorite of the two is Lincecum because I try to model my game after him by the way he throw hitter off by mixing up his fast and change up and then still have a great curveball. He’s able to use as a put away pitch also.

Michael F.:  Akeel, this is Michael Freire, another writer here on MMs. I would like to know if the organization has given you any ideas on what level you would be starting 2012? 

Morris:  Hey Micheal, No, the Mets haven't given me any ideas of where I'll b going for the starting of 2012

Mack:  No, they never do, do they?  It's Mack. Akeel, I'm never a big fan of rushing things that are special, and you are one of them. What's your plans for the off-season? Are you working on anything special in the Instruction League or do you have to kill me if you tell me what you're doing?

Morris:          In the off season I plan on working on fastball command and repetition of my mechanics.

Mack:  Last question A K... Is there anything you want to say to your growing list of fans here at Mack's Mets?

Morris:   I don't know what to say, other thank you for rooting for me and thanks for the opportunity, Mr.  Mack.

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