Ty Morrison's Progression

Ty Morrrison was a 4th round draft choice out of HS in 2008. He only played in 10 games after signing that year, so we didn't have a whole lot to go off going into 2009. In 2009 he posted a relatively mediocre .271/.365/.379 line in his second trip (if you can call it that) to Princeton. This offseason he still looked like a pretty good prospect, and Rays Prospects had this to say about the guy they rated the 11th best posiiton prospect in the system:

The Rays knew they would have to be patient with Morrison when they drafted, and they showed that patience in 2009, sending him back to Princeton even after an impressive showing in extended spring training.

Morrison is a very good athlete who has top-of-the-order skills. His best present tool is his speed, which he turned into 20 stolen bases in 2009, good for 5th in the Appalachian League. He shows a fluid swing and batting practice power, but he struck out more than once per game and his power has yet to translate to the games. He showed solid plate patience and pitch recognition, drawing 27 walks on his way to a .365 on-base percentage.

It's easy to dream on his body and skillset, but at this point he's still more projection than production. The Rays will likely take it one level at a time with Morrison, meaning a promotion to Hudson Valley for 2010. His plus speed gives him expansive range and makes him a solid center fielder, even with a fringe-average arm. If he's able to add strength and continue to refine his batting eye, he'll be a prototypical leadoff or #2 hitter.

Morrison got off to a very slow start this year in his first season in full season ball, but he's seemingly turned it on of late.

Here's a monthly breakdown of some key stats for Morrison this year:

April 19 62 4 8 2 0 0 4 1 16 4 0 .129 .156 .161 .318 25.8% 1.6% .06 .032 .174
May 28 92 15 27 4 7 1 10 5 34 13 0 .293 .350 .522 .872 37.0% 5.4% .15 .228 .456
June 12 39 11 14 1 2 2 9 4 10 5 1 .359 .432 .641 1.073 25.6% 10.3% .40 .282 .444
2010 59 193 30 49 7 9 3 23 10 60 22 1 .254 .308 .430 .738 31.1% 5.2% .17 .176 .354

As you can see, he's improved each month in nearly every category. The progress he's made in Isolate power and BB/K are the most impressive in my eyes. He's starting to some of that batting practice power in to game power. While his OBP is down from last year, his slugging is way up, and apart from his horid start his OBP has been quite good. He's still striking out a bit too much, but this projectable CF is seemingly starting to turn the corner. If he can keep this progress up through the rest of the year, he will certainly be a prospect to watch.

A few notes:

  • He's stolen 22 bags in 59 games while only getting thrown out once. He's 6th in the league in stolen bases and every other player in the league in the top 10 has been caught at least 3 times.
  • His IsoP of .176 on the year puts him in 7th in the league for players 20 or under. If he continues on the current tear, then I could easily see him cracking the top 5 in the league.
  • His BB% is way down from last year (from 12% to 5.2%). Hopefully he's working on trying to be aggressive and hitting for power. Last year he had a reasonable BB/K rate that seemed to look like he had the makings of a lead-off hitter. This year, he's been a hacky player with a power profile. Perhaps going forward he can combine the two and become a complete hitter.
  • His OPS of .738 would give him an OPS+ of 106 without adjusting for park. That's OK, but if he really has made adjustments to the league then it should only get better.
  • A note on his BABIP: I’d say a .356 BABIP is pretty reasonable for a guy with his speed in A ball. It will likely go down as he progresses, btu at that level I’d say it’s in line with his skills and the defensive skills of the opponents.

While Ty's stats on the year are not eye popping, they certainly have been over the last month and change. If these are real gains, then I'll be really excited to see hwere he goes from here. A guy with his speed and power leaves a lot to dream on, and if he really is turning his projection in to production we may have another legit position prospect on our hands.

This post was written by a member of the DRaysBay community and does not necessarily express the views or opinions of DRaysBay staff.

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