Mar 6, 2013; Peoria, AZ, USA; Milwaukee Brewers first basemanHunter Morris
(92) rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run during the second inning against the Seattle Mariners at Peoria Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
For the second week I am unfortunately a day late and maybe a dollar short with the analysis in this article but we move ahead regardless. This week we look at Reviewing the Brew’s seventh ranked prospect, first baseman Hunter Morris.
The Brewers selected the first baseman in the fourth round of the 2010 draft out of Auburn. Morris was highly thought after following the selection as he was recently named the SEC Player of the Year as well as a first team All-American by Baseball America.
The left-hander did not see immediate success or at least success that duplicated his time at Auburn but did move quickly through the Brewers system. In 2012, Morris found himself in Hunstville manning first base for the Stars in the Southern League. He responded in a big way hitting .303 with 28 home runs and 113 runs batted in. His performance earned him Southern League Player of the Year and the Robin Yount performance award as the Minor League Player of the Year for the Brewers.
Then came 2013, a season full of hope for Morris and a higher level of prestige within the system. Add to that injuries to Corey Hart and Mat Gamel prior to the season and it seemed all the stars were aligned for Morris to find time in Milwaukee.
Sounds to perfect?
Morris hit a .115 in 12 spring training games and found himself in Nashville to open the season, a place he would spend all of 2013. While at Nashville, Morris could not repeat his magical year of 2012. He hit .247 with 24 home runs and 73 runs batted in.
Morris has spent the entire 2014 season in Nashville as well and while he has been better, fans excitement level has for good reason dwindled. Morris has not played since June 29 because of a wrist injury and does not seem to be coming off of the DL anytime soon. Prior to his injury Morris was hitting .274 with 10 home runs and 37 runs batted but has since seen Jason Rogers and Matt Clark take his place in the middle of the order in his absence.
As the Brewers look ahead they have to ask themselves, which Hunter Morris do we trust? While I am not going to call him Franklin Stubbs or Matt LaPorta or Mat Gamel or even Kevin Barker, there has to be serious concern that he is no more than a AAAA prospect. This type of prospect excels in the minors but doesn’t have the skills that translate to major league success.
While I am not giving up on him yet, especially with limited system options at first base, time is passing him by. No managers will complain about his strikeouts if the power translates but he needs to become more selective at the plate. His highest walk total in a season is 43 and that was with 497 at bats.
The future is very cloudy for Morris. Maybe he can step out from the clouds and become the answer at first base but for now, like Morris, we are left to sit on the sidelines and wait.