Akeel Morris was one of our 2014 Minor League Sleepers – Mets prospects you needed to keep an eye on this season – and so far he hasn’t disappointed.
Last week, he really showed his stuff in a particular outing in which he tossed 3.0 hitless innings, walking one and striking out nine batters. Morris got 10 consecutive outs that night, nine by strikeout and one fly out.
I reached out to Wally Murphy, our beat writer for the Savannah Sand Gnats, the next morning and asked him what he thought of Morris’ performance that night.
He looks like the real deal. In two games I’ve watched him he’s tossed 4.0 scoreless innings and walked two batters while striking out 11 of them. I like that he comes in the game and throws strikes. Last night he was awesome. Probably will be the #1 reliever. I forgot to mentioned in my article that last night he struck out 4 batters in one inning (strikeout and pass ball).
Since then, Morris has continued to shine and in fact tossed another 2.2 scoreless innings on Sunday, striking out three more batters in the process.
Morris, 21, has yet to be scored upon in 6.2 innings pitched for Savannah and has only allowed one hit and three walks while racking up 14 strikeouts.
I asked our Minor League Editor David Conde to reach out to him and see how he was doing.
David: You had a dominating night yesterday, what do you feel was the difference and what was working for you?
Akeel: My fastball was working for me last night, and my catcher Colton Plaia saw that and we worked off that and it allowed me to get in a good rhythm.
David: What role do you feel most comfortable in, a starter, long relief, or a closer? And why?
Akeel: I actually feel fine with them all, I’ve done some of each through my career and I feel I can go out there and get the job done in whatever role in assigned.
David: Where can you see yourself competing this season, do you envision finishing in St. Lucie or Binghamton?
Akeel: I envision myself competing in the big leagues some day just like every other player in the minor leagues. As far as this season, right now I’m in Savannah and as far as promotions go the organization will move me up when they think I’m ready for the next level.
Last season, we saw Morris exhibit a plus-fastball, good curveball with excellent break, and an improving change up. Not a bad arsenal from a 20-year old who was still working on his command and improving all three of his offerings.
While in Brooklyn, Morris showed just how lethal his fastball/hook combination was, striking out 60 batters in 45.0 innings pitched. He held batters to a .184 average and was only taken deep once all year.
Morris oozes with potential and sometimes gets overlooked in a minor league system that is already notable for being stocked with so many promising power arms. But if I’m right, Morris could easily find himself on most Mets Top 20′s by mid-season.