My rankings is solely subjective and based on nothing more than what is in my head at time I’m writing this. I’ve followed the Mets minor league players for many years and I feel I can recognize talent at various levels of their development. What I have failed at is how to determine when this talent seems to diminish. It’s amazing how many first round picks never make it in this game.
I’m old school, so you won’t seem much SABR-discussion here, I do research and, when I find a good quote or two, I’ll add them to my analysis, but, like I said in the beginning of this post, most of this us subjective.
Let’s get started.
#15 – RHRP – Akeel Morris – 22-years old – Charlotte-Amalie HS, St. Thomas, Virgin Island - 6-1, 170 – R/R – Drafted in round 10 2010 draft
2010 – GCL - 8-G, 6-starts, 2.19, 1.22, 24.2-IP, 28-K
2011 – K/Port – 11-starts, 3.86, 1.32, 51.1-IP, 61-K
2012 – K/Port - 11-G, 6-starts, 7.98, 1.57, 38.1-IP, 50-K
2013 – Bklyn – 14-G, 3-starts, 1.00, 1.16, 45.0-IP. 60-K
2014 – Sav – 41-appearances, 0.63, 0.72, 57-IP, 89-K
Career – 5 seasons: 288-K in 216.1-IP
What did they say about Morris at draft time?
Akeel Morris pitched a perfect game past season for the Charlotte Amalie High School baseball team, which is just one accomplishment on a baseball resume the 17-year-old is hoping will attract interest from a professional baseball team.
Morris is one of a handful of baseball players from the U.S. Virgin Islands who should be selected during next week’s Major League Baseball Draft, V.I. Future Stars Baseball founder Darren Canton said.
“I think I have a good chance to go in the middle rounds,” said Morris, a 6-foot-2, 175-pound right-handed pitcher. “It’s been a long process as far as being scouted. I’ve been to so many tournaments and I’ve followed up on all the scouts and coaches I’ve met. It’s been quite a ride.”
But just because a young player can throw a 94 mph. fastball — like Morris — getting drafted doesn’t guarantee a starting spot alongside Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees. Actually, getting drafted doesn’t guarantee much at all.
There wasn’t much press at the time of the signing, but what do you expect from a 17-year old from the Virgin Islands?
The Mets took their time with this kid and looked like he had an outstanding chance to stick as a starter, but a disastrous 2012 season in Kingsport began a slow conversion to the pen.
Last year was, well… it’s hard to find any pitcher that ever had a better year than Morris did last year for the Sand Gnats. Other team players use to pack their equipment and head to their team bus when Morris began warming up in the pen. Joke.
A very rosy one.
Morris will open up in sunny Florida with the St. Lucie Mets and take it from there. I’ve interviewed him three times and he loves being a closer, so there could be some blocking involved to get him to Binghamton next season. We’ll see.
Morris is a perfect example why you should never write off someone too early in this process like I seemed to do earlier in this series with Gavin Cecchini. It’s impossible to predict when all things will come together like they did for Morris last season.