Philadelphia Phillies Prospect Countdown #5: Adam Morgan
24 years old (February 27, 1990)
6’1″ 195 lbs.
Throws: Left Bats: Right
Two words come to mind when speaking of Adam Morgan: poise and polish. Morgan possesses three above-average pitches to go along with an unflappable demeanor.
His fastball sits in the 89-91 mph range and occasionally reach 93. The two pitches that will more-than-likely be well above-average at the major league level are the slider and changeup. The ‘dead fish’ change would be a top ten changeup in the big leagues right now. (Hamels-like.) The mid-80’s slider has wipeout potential. Both pitches will get better with experience.
Morgan is a very quick worker. Always a plus when it comes to keeping the fielders on their toes. In spite of the fact that he is a fly ball pitcher, he does a relatively good job at keeping the ball in the park.
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Morgan tends to lose command of the strike zone from time-to-time. He gets hit pretty hard when he loses the edges. He doesn’t have an overpowering fastball, so it is imperative for him to pepper the inner and outer-edges of the plate.
BABIP, WHIP, and ERA have all gone up throughout his minor league career. It could be a minor issue, but it very well could be a disturbing trend. His 1.54 WHIP and 3.3 BB/9 need to come down significantly.
At the start of 2013, Morgan was on the fast-track to Philadelphia. A solid 2012 campaign along with a strong showing in Clearwater last spring had the Phillies raving. It was a foregone conclusion that fans would see Morgan pitching at Citizens Bank Park sometime during the season. But then again, plans don’t always fall into place.
Morgan suffered a shoulder injury early last season. As it turns out, it was a small tear of the rotator cuff. He opted not to have surgery, instead electing a rehab program. He returned to the Lehigh Valley rotation in late July. His ERA was pushing 5.00 at the time of his diagnosis. After his return from injury, he sported a 2.67 ERA over his last eight starts.
As with most arm injuries for pitchers, Morgan could only avoid the surgeon for so long. He finally elected to have the operation in January, in effect, wiping out the large majority of his season. Missing most of 2014 will cost him valuable development time.
If he does pitch at all in 2014, it will be near the very end of the season. He projects to return to the mound in mid-late-August. Most minor league seasons end around Labor Day. It will be highly unlikely to see Morgan pitch more than a few starts this season, if at all.
When he does return to full health, he projects to be a solid fourth starter in a big league rotation. Shoulder injuries, however, can be very fickle.
Time will tell.