For the purpose of our series of posts, we define the word fringe as any prospects, which we considered, that were absent from MMN’s own Top 40 Prospect lists. The purpose of the series is to identify prospects that are showing promise above what fans might expect and what their futures will hold within the Mets organization.
Akeel Morris, RHP
2013 Total Stats: 45 IP, 1.00 ERA, FIP 2.42, 12.00 K/9, 4.60 BB/9
The hard-throwing, 2010 tenth round draft pick Akeel Morris, put up impressive numbers in Brooklyn this year. After finally making his way to class A short-season ball, Morris made sure to bring his game. In 14 games, Morris was 4-1 with a 1.00 ERA and 1.165 WHIP. In addition to these solid numbers, Morris also threw to a ridiculous 12.00 K/9, using his heated fastball to overpower the lower ranks of competition. And, even though his 4.60 BB/9 needs some work, he managed to bring it down from 5.2 last season.
Morris served mostly as a reliever throughout this season, coming in for multiple innings (average about three), using his overwhelming velocity to challenge hitters later in the game. Morris can deliver a quality fastball, good curveball and decent change up, an OK arsenal moving forward, however some of his pitches and control needs work. In addition, Morris’ slender frame and extreme exertion on fastball delivery brings into question his longterm durability. He is repeatedly scouted as exerting an incredible amount of effort generating the power behind his fastball, something that affects his control and leaves him stiff and off-balance. However, at the young age of 21 and still clearly making moves throughout the system, the potential is still there.
I don’t think there’s any question that Morris gets promoted to Savannah at the start of the upcoming season. He worked it in Brooklyn, showing just how potent his fastball can be, and, when he’s on, how easily he can rack up K’s. His K/9 numbers are absolutely great, and they stand out, but his elevated number of walks and bodily risk factors make his longterm usefulness questionable. We should see him get some solid innings as, I would expect, he could see time piggybacking with another starter. Morris has a lot of potential and if he can work on his mechanics and ball control he should keep on his progression to the big leagues.
Prospects On The Fringe: