You probably didn't know about him pre-season, but Los Angeles Angels rookie relief pitcher Mike Morin has dominated big league hitters so far. In seven major league innings over six outings, he's allowed zero runs, one walk, five hits, and collected seven strikeouts. Can he keep it up and take a larger role?
Morin pitched college ball for three years at the University of North Carolina, with a particularly strong junior year in 2012 (19 saves, 1.40 ERA, 59/19 K/BB in 58 innings, just 38 hits). Like many college closers his pro potential wasn't considered as strong as his numbers would lead you to believe. He lasted until the 13th round in the '12 draft, but the college success doesn't look like a fluke as he's remained excellent against pro hitters, too. He posted a 1.93 ERA with a 76/10 K/BB in 70 innings between High-A and Double-A last year, combining for 23 saves. And now he's in the big leagues and still getting people out.
The 6-4, 220 pound right-hander was born May 3, 1991. As you can likely surmise given his combination of great stats with a low draft position, he doesn't throw especially hard, using an 88-94 MPH fastball that averages about 92. His slider is just adequate, but his key pitch is a spectacular changeup. Even when hitters know the changeup is coming, they can't seem to handle it.
Morin throws strikes and has a fearless attitude, qualities which endear him to managers and coaches. Although he doesn't have a huge margin for error, I think he profiles as a quality middle reliever at worst and there's a chance he could get beyond that.
You don't need a 99 MPH fastball to get people out, even in the late innings, if you know how to pitch. And Mike Morin knows how to pitch.