This year has been a very telling year for the Mets Organization as a whole. Even though they are still losing more then they are winning, they are developing pieces on the major league team and in the minors for the future. One person who has stepped up and has started to squarely put himself back on the prospect map is Akeel Morris. Akeel was drafted out of high school in the 10th round of the 2010 MLB draft. Blessed with an electric arm, Akeel was quickly put into a number of the Mets top prospect lists.
He started off his career on solid footing in 2010. He played in the GCL throwing 25 innings with an ERA of 2.15. In 2011, he pitched in Kingsport, where he went 3-2 with an era in 3.86 over 51.0 innings. There were red flags that started to come up that year and they were directly related to his control. The amount of free passes that he gave up was just too high, and it would come back to bite him if it became a trend. Unfortunately, in 2012. the bottom fell out for Akeel and he had a very disappointing season. That year, Akeel repeated Kingsport and everything fell apart. His average against was up to .253 and he gave up 22 walks in 38.1 innings. The 2012 season completely knocked Akeel off the prospect map.
Enter the new Akeel Morris for the 2013 season, still only 20 years young. The Mets refused to give up on a talent like Akeel and sent him to be apart of the Brooklyn Cyclones bullpen. I have seen Akeel a number of times in Brooklyn and this plan seems to be working. Akeel usually piggybacks the starter on the days that he gets thrown in. That means when the starter is lifted, Akeel will pitch multiple innings and close out the game. This has helped Akeel remain focused and improve the location of his pitches. His walks have went down to 2.5 walks a game and opposing hitters are batting only a .159 clip against him — the best in his career.
On Sunday I was able to see Akeel and he was dominant. He pitched three scoreless and struck out five. I saw a pitcher with a live arm, a solid breaking ball and solid control. This enabled him to get a number of swing and misses on his pitches and caused weak contact from the opposition all night. With the season he is having, Akeel will firmly put himself back into prospect consideration.
One of the big questions, however, is whether he will get a chance to crack the Savannah rotation. I certainly think he will. What do you think?