Originally posted on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 2/22/13
In Milwaukee, Hunter Morris will battle former shortstop Alex Gonzalez and fringe big leaguer Taylor Green for the opening day nod at first base. On paper, it seems like the odds are in his favor. However, Morris’ arbitration clock and Corey Hart‘s timetable for returning to the lineup will weigh heavily in the Brewers decision. For a three-to-four week stopgap, it might not be worth it to the organization — Especially when the Brewers are projected to finish with a .500 record. Recently, Marc Hulet ranked Morris as the 11th best prospect in the Brewers system. He was the third best first baseman I scouted in person in 2012, but this was more indicative of a weak group at the position than Morris being a top prospect. Oliver projections have the left-handed hitter posting a .256/.302/.476 triple slash line and 1.7 WAR if given everyday reps, but this strikes me as generous. While Morris’ power is not in question, the rest of his skill set is. Video after the jump From a physical standpoint, Morris is the prototypical first baseman. Listed at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, Morris is strong without being bulky. A lack of size through the shoulders leaves him with a loose swing and more fluid baseball movements than expected. He’s a fringe average athlete at present and is likely to add additional size at full physical maturity. In batting practice, Morris keeps his hands inside the baseball well. When he lets the ball travel deep into the hitting zone, Morris’ raw power is impressive. However, his swing plane does not have the natural lift expected from a power hitter. Balls which left the park were screaming line drives, not towering fly balls. This led one scout in attendance to comment Morris hadn’t fully tapped his power potential and a handful of his 40 doubles would turn into home runs. Over two games, Morris proved to be the aggressive hitter his 7% walk rate would indicate. His “grip and rip” approach led to a handful of batted balls early in counts. He barreled the baseball consistently for a hitter with an expanded strike zone and 20% strikeout rate. And while it’s easy to assume his walk rate will stabilize or regress at the Major League level, it was 3.4% in High-A in 2011. Morris has made progress in the area of plate discipline. Against Tony Cingrani, Morris chased multiple sweeping sliders away forcing me to question whether platoon splits will become an issue. Additionally, how does Morris adjust against Major League pitchers who are able to pitch backwards against him early in counts? He’s the type of hitter who’ll feast on fastballs the first time through the league before he’s thoroughly scouted. If pitchers adjust and Morris doesn’t, his production will plummet. When discussing Morris’ defense, a scout put it best when he commented, “The Brewers organization is full of designated hitter prospects and they play in the National League.” Around the first base bag, Morris presents as a clumsy with his footwork. In fielding position, Morris stands too tall causing him to field balls close to his body. It’s as if he fielded balls with the palm of his glove. This lack of defensive ability muddles the profile as first baseman with little defensive value need to mash. First Corey Hart, now Mat Gamel. The Brewers are quickly running out of first base options paving the way for mid-level prospect Hunter Morris to open the season in Milwaukee. Morris is coming off a .303/.357/.563 triple slash line in Double-A, earning the Southern League’s Most Valuable Player Award. The numbers are impressive. Morris is at an age when many Major League regulars surface. Opportunity is knocking for the former Auburn Tiger.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Stafford admits he was surprised by benching

USC president expresses support for AD Pat Haden

Report: Syracuse QB medically disqualified due to concussions

Six notable NFL realizations after five weeks of action

Lamar Odom reportedly found unconscious, fighting for his life

Cubs defeat Cardinals 6-4, advance to NLCS


Bret Bielema responds to critics: 'Bring it on, baby”

Philip Rivers used silent count at home on Monday night

SEC commissioner responds to Arkansas coach’s flop during Saturday’s loss

Report: 49ers put Vernon Davis on the trade block

Wall to pay assistant coach $100 for every three-turnover game

Green fires back at critics, compares them to ‘bitter females’

QUIZ: Who did Kerry Wood strike out in his 20 K game?

WATCH: Frank Kaminsky busts out dance moves in Shanghai

Dabo Swinney gave awesome speech in honor of Spurrier

Russell Westbrook featured on Mountain Dew cans

Dombrowski wants to add 'horse' to Red Sox's rotation

Julian Edelman lists top five receivers, omits Dez Bryant

Brittle USMNT turns to dust in disappointing loss to Costa Rica

Dombrowski: Red Sox’s payroll ‘not going backwards’ for 2016

Spartan seniors seek first win in The Big House

Marchand: Bruins are ‘going to be a really good team’

Five most overrated teams in the Week 7 Coaches’ Poll

Texas mascot Bevo XIV diagnosed with cancer, retired immediately

Can any of the NFL's remaining undefeated teams go 16-0?

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Six notable NFL realizations after five weeks of action

Five most overrated teams in the Week 7 Coaches’ Poll

Can any of the NFL's remaining undefeated teams go 16-0?

QUIZ: Every team Steve Spurrier played for, coached

What's changed, what hasn't: NBA's Southwest Division

DeAndre Hopkins on pace to shatter single-season target record

(Mis)handling David Price

Five fantasy things we learned from every NFL Week 5 game

Steve Spurrier: An American original

How the Royals cheated death

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker