The six-foot-one 195-pounder was the Phillies’ 3rd round draft selection in 2011 out of the University of Alabama. Upon making his pro debut that same year, Morgan tallied a 3-3 record along with a 2.01 ERA and a 7.27 K/9 mark in 11 starts for short-season Class A Williamsport.
The following season, at the age of 22, Morgan skipped Class A Lakewood and had a solid campaign with Class A Advanced Clearwater. In 21 games (20 starts) the Georgia native posted a 4-10 record with a 3.29 ERA and a 10.24 K/9 mark. He was promoted to Double-A Reading in August, for their playoff push. In six starts to wrap up that season, Morgan notched an impressive 4-1 record with a 3.53 ERA while striking out 29 and walking 11 in 35 2/3 innings.
Morgan’s time working through physical rehab led to the discovery of what he described to me as “some hitches” that weren’t helping him maintain a healthy throwing shoulder, so minor adjustments were made to his mechanics to improve his approach on the mound.
After beginning a throwing program last off-season, a physical setback popped up. Following further evaluation from Phillies team doctors it was determined that surgery was required to repair his left shoulder. Morgan would miss the entire 2014 regular season, returning to make a couple appearances in the fall instructional league.
Morgan continued his autumn work load, pitching with the Scottsdale in the Arizona Fall League, where he posted a 1-2 record with a 6.61 ERA while striking out 11 and walking three in 16 1/3 innings.
There is certainly no question that the lessons of learning how to pitch without being at full strength and without his best stuff as well as what it takes to come back from injuries will help the youngster in the long run.
Morgan, who has a strong ability to locate his offerings, sports a career strike out rate of 22.2% as well as a walk rate of 6.6% in 56 games. The K-rate is very solid while the frequency of walks will come down as his health stabilizes.
Morgan sports a repertoire that includes a solid low-90′s fastball which features nice movement, a great change up that scouts have raved about, an excellent slider that he uses to attack opposing batters when he is ahead in the count and a curve ball that he’s made some improvements with.
Physically, Morgan, who stands six-foot-one and weighs 195 pounds, doesn’t project to change much. The talented hurler may have a ceiling as a middle rotation or as a back-end big league starter at this stage.
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