If there’s one player in the Mets minor league system that I find the most intriguing and who I’d most like to see succeed, it’s right-handed pitcher Akeel Morris. His is not a name that will be found atop of many top prospects lists, nor does his name have a lot of buzz around it. But two or three years down the line, that could easily change.
Morris spent 2010 in the Gulf Coast League as a seventeen year old after being drafted in the 10th round of last June’s draft. He made just eight appearances in his first professional season, starting six of those games. In less than 25 innings he had nearly as many strikeouts (28) as he gave up hits and walks combined (30). It’s a small sample, but the numbers are encouraging, but not as encouraging as his stuff. Even at such a young age, Morris has what has been described as an electric arm, with a plus fastball that sits in the low 90’s, which can certainly increase in velocity as he gets older and fills out. His breaking ball and change also show great promise for a youngster, meaning that the sky could be the limit for him.
Obviously a young power arm with almost limitless potential is going to be a favorite to see succeed for what he can do on the mound. But even beyond that, if Morris gets to the major leagues, his will be an endearing tale of a young kid who was overlooked, but made it to the big leagues against tremendous odds. Morris is from St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, not a place known for producing a lot of major league talent, and as a result he fell to the tenth round of the draft and was selected 302nd overall. Coming from a remote location that doesn’t play a lot of baseball will make his trek to the big league all the more challenging, but at the same time all the more gratifying if e completes the journey.
Thus far, Morris’ performance has upheld the Mets decision to draft him, and while he has a long way to go, he has exhibited tremendous potential, and definitely has a shot to reach the big leagues one day. Between being overlooked and the underdog status given to Morris because of his homeland, and the tremendous talent Akeel Morris has, it’s tough not to root for him to make it to the major leagues, and there’s no doubt that he will be a guy to watch in the Mets minor league system for years to come as he makes his way towards Flushing.