With the All Star Break in the rearview mirror, it is time to catch up with our series of MLB Rookie and Prospect Profiles, with a look at Atlanta Braves right-hander Akeel Morris. He was promoted to the majors on July 6th and appeared out of the bullpen on the 8th and 9th, throwing a combined 1.1 shutout innings with a strikeout. Here’s a quick take.
Morris was originally signed by the New York Mets, drafted in the 10th round in 2010 from high school in the Virgin Islands. It took him three years to get out of rookie ball but he picked up the pace with some command improvements in 2014 and appeared briefly in the majors with the Mets in ‘15, pitching in one game.
The Braves got him in a trade last June for Kelly Johnson. He’s been quite good this season, posting a combined 2,17 ERA in 37 innings between Double-A and Triple-A with a 46/18 K/BB and 29 hits allowed.
Morris was rated as a Grade C+ prospect pre-season, albeit outside the Atlanta Braves Top 20 list for 2017 in such a deep system.
Listed at 6-1, 195, Morris was born November 14th, 1992 in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. He’s got a good arm, topping at 95 MPH and working most commonly at 93-94. His best pitch is a very good fading change-up that helps the fastball play up, but his breaking ball is inconsistent and his command comes and goes.
The strikeouts aren’t lying about his stuff so it all boils down to command. If he has it, he can be an above-average reliever.