Adam Morgan (baseball)

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Adam Morgan
File:Adam Morgan on June 27, 2015 (game was postponed after a rainstorm in the 2nd inning).jpg
Morgan with the Philadelphia Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies – No. 39
Pitcher
Born: (1990-02-27) February 27, 1990 (age 29)
Marietta, Georgia
Bats: Left Throws: Left
MLB debut
June 21, 2015, for the Philadelphia Phillies
MLB statistics
(through May 27, 2016)
Win–loss record 6–10
Earned run average 5.05
Strikeouts 67
WHIP 1.32
Teams

Adam Christopher Morgan (born February 27, 1990) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball (MLB). After growing up and playing high school baseball in Marietta, Georgia, he enrolled at the University of Alabama, where, like his father, he played college baseball. Three years later, the Phillies drafted him in the third round of the 2011 MLB Draft. Quickly ascending through the ranks of the Phillies' farm system, Morgan was among the top pitching prospects in the organization until a torn rotator cuff caused him to miss all of the 2014 Philadelphia Phillies season. He participated in significant rehabilitation, and entered the 2015 season healthy and ready to reestablish himself as a viable pitcher. He struggled at the Triple-A level, but earned a promotion to the major leagues nonetheless, making his major league debut on June 21, 2015. Impressing coaches and management, he earned successive starts, and the opportunity to establish himself in the Phillies' starting rotation.

Early life

Morgan was born February 27, 1990 to parents Wiley and Karen Morgan, and has a younger brother named Grant. He attended Kell High School in Marietta, Georgia, where he played baseball on a team that went to the state playoffs thrice. He also played on various travel teams, including in the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU).[1] Then, he followed in his father Wiley's footsteps, and attended University of Alabama, where he played college baseball for the Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team.[2] With Alabama, he developed a "devastating slider" that contributed to high strikeout rates throughout his career.[3] He notched the first complete game of his collegiate career in an outing against Georgia Tech in the 2010 College World Series (CWS).[4] His junior year, he and Nathan Kilcrease formed a tandem atop Alabama's starting rotation that helped lead the Crimson Tide back into the CWS.[1]

Professional career

Minor leagues

The Philadelphia Phillies drafted Morgan in the third round of the 2011 MLB Draft, and assigned him to the Williamsport Crosscutters, with whom he compiled a 3–3 win/loss record and a 2.01 earned run average (ERA). Advancing directly to the Clearwater Threshers of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League in 2012, Morgan made 20 starts and struck out 10.24 batters per nine innings, which earned him a promotion to the Reading Phillies of the Class AA Eastern League in August.[5][6] After notching an "impressive" performance with Reading, the Phillies invited him to spring training in 2013.[5][7] A column written years later noted, "At 22, he was seen as one of the most advanced pitching prospects in the organization, and a call-up to the big club seemed imminent for sometime in 2013 ... However, as happens with pitchers, Morgan suffered a setback."[8] Pitching for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs of the Class AAA International League, Morgan suffered a torn rotator cuff in May 2013, which required surgery;[9] he did not undergo surgery, however, until January, and thus missed the 2014 season.[8][10] After the 2014 season, the Phillies added Morgan to their 40-man roster.[11] Entering 2015 "fully healthy" with improved mechanics, he looked to re-establish himself in the IronPigs' starting rotation before a potential call-up to the major leagues later in the season.[5]

Entrance to MLB

File:Phillies Adam Morgan before Braves game on July 3rd, 2015.jpg
Morgan before a game against the Braves on July 3, 2015

He began the 2015 season with Lehigh Valley, and the Phillies promoted him to the major leagues to make his debut on June 21 despite posting a record of 0–6 with a 4.74 ERA in 13 starts in Triple-A.[12][13] His mediocre statistics notwithstanding, minor league talent evaluator Matt Winkelman commented that Morgan's "velocity [is] almost back and slider is almost there."[8] Morgan pitched 523 innings in his debut, which came against the St. Louis Cardinals. He allowed only one run, and earned the winning decision, also earning an opportunity to start a second game.[14] Morgan started the first game after the all-star break for the Phillies, and although one columnist opined that he "deserves better" than to be removed from a game with a low pitch count only to have the lead he helped build evaporate, the Phillies ended up earning the win, and Morgan received praise from interim manager Pete Mackanin, who said Morgan "showed no fear" on the mound.[13] Mackanin expressed a willingness to let Morgan pitch in tough situations to see how he would respond during the second half of the season, letting him focus on working out of tough situations. Through his first several starts, Morgan showed promise of developing into a legitimate middle-to-back-of-the-rotation starter, but needed to focus on keeping the ball down to avoid allowing hitters to make solid contact and hit home runs, something they had done five times in his first five starts.[15][16]

Pitching style

Morgan is a control pitcher who lacks overwhelming velocity, instead relying on maintaining command of his pitches to retire hitters. Having rebounded from an injury that lost him his status as the Phillies' top pitching prospect and thus working to re-establish himself, he engendered respect from coaches and front office personnel within the organization. He relies on three predominant pitches – a fastball that seldom exceeds 92 miles per hour (148 km/h), and mostly stays in the 89 miles per hour (143 km/h) range, a slider with which he can generate swings and misses, a changeup, and an occasional curveball.[17][18] Phillies' interim manager Pete Mackanin praised Morgan's feel for pitching, and said of his pitching style: "He knows what he’s doing. He knows how to mix his pitches, change speeds. He has that excellent changeup to fool a lot of hitters with, and when he spots his fastball down in the zone, he’s a real good pitcher."[13] After another start, Mackanin once again complimented Morgan's changeup, this time referring to it as a "Bugs Bunny changeup".[15]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Adam Morgan Bio". RollTide.com. University of Alabama. Retrieved July 28, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Carrington, Adam (June 8, 2011). "Morgan leads local draft crop". Marietta Daily Journal. Retrieved March 1, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Tsoukalas, Tony (June 20, 2015). "Former University of Alabama pitcher Adam Morgan to make MLB debut". The Tuscaloosa News. Retrieved July 28, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Estes, Gentry (June 6, 2010). "Adam Morgan pitches Tide past Jackets to square up Atlanta regional". Mobile Press-Register. Retrieved July 28, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Floyd, Jay (January 25, 2015). "Prospect Nation 2015: #17 LHP Adam Morgan". Prospect Nation - Phillies Nation. Phillies Nation. Retrieved July 28, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Gelb, Matt (February 23, 2013). "Phillies Notes: Phils pitching prospect Adam Morgan sharp in intrasquad game". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved March 1, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Zolecki, Todd (February 22, 2013). "Prospect Morgan looking to make strong impression". phillies.com: News. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved March 1, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Stolnis, John (June 19, 2015). "Phillies call up Adam Morgan, will pitch Sunday". The Good Phight - SBNation.com. Vox Media. Retrieved July 28, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. LoRe, Michael (May 31, 2013). "Philadelphia Phillies pitching prospect Adam Morgan has small tear in rotator cuff". The Express-Times. Lehigh Valley. Retrieved March 1, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Baer, Bill (January 11, 2014). "Phillies pitching prospects Adam Morgan and Shane Watson to miss most of 2014". HardballTalk. NBC Sports. Retrieved March 1, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Seidman, Corey. "Phillies add Biddle, Morgan, Ogando to 40-man roster". CSNPhilly.com. Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia. Retrieved June 21, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Hall, Josh (June 21, 2015). "Phillies option Seth Rosin to Triple A for Adam Morgan". CSNPhilly.com. Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia. Retrieved June 21, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Parent, Rob (July 17, 2015). "Morgan deserves better, but he'll take the hit as Phillies open 2nd half with win". Delaware County Daily Times. Retrieved July 28, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Miller, Randy (June 21, 2015). "Phillies left-hander Adam Morgan soaks in beating St. Louis Cardinals in big-league debut". NJ.com. NJ Advance Media. Retrieved July 28, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. 15.0 15.1 Awtrey, Stan (July 4, 2015). "Adam Morgan's career outing spoiled by pair of HRs in Phillies' loss". CSNPhilly.com. Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia. Retrieved July 28, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Witte, Ethan (July 22, 2015). "Adam Morgan: Another longterm Phillies' piece?". That Balls Outta Here - SI.com. Fansided. Retrieved July 28, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. Kaplan, Jake (July 18, 2015). "Morgan gets chance to fit into Phillies' rotation". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved July 28, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "Player Card: Adam Morgan". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved July 28, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links