The Arizona Fall League came to an end yesterday. A one-game playoff will be held on Saturday without the participation of the Scottsdale Scorpions (and the 7 Phillies on the roster). The Scorpions finished in third place in the East Division with a 12-20 record.
Prospect Adam Morgan returned to action in the AFL. A shoulder injury had sidelined him for the entire 2014 regular season. He threw some during the FIL and subsequently made 6 appearances in Arizona, 5 starts. He recorded a 1-2 record and put together the following resume –
- 16.1 IP, 26 hits, 17 runs, 12 earned runs, 3 HRs, 2 HBP, 3 BB, 11 K, 1 WP, 1 Balk
Morgan threw 257 pitches across his 6 appearances-
- October 10th: 10 pitches, 1.0 inning, 3 batters faced
- October 15th: 42 pitches, 1.2 innings, 10 batter faced
- October 21st: 57 pitches, 2.2 innings, 16 batters faced
- October 27th: 57 pitches, 4.0 innings, 17 batters faced
- November 3rd: 48 pitches, 3.0 innings, 17 batters faced
- November 8th: 43 pitches, 4.0 innings, 16 batters faced
Morgan had an ERA of 6.61, a WHIP of 1.78, and a SSS GA/AO of 3.00. He had a 6.06 K/9, a 1.65 BB/9, and a 3.67 K/BB. He threw 60.5% of his pitches for strikes.
Aside from the numbers he posted, it was most encouraging just to see Morgan able to throw a baseball again. It is really nice to see the high ground ball rate and the low BB/9.
Now, in the AFL, they have a radar gun installed in Surprise Stadium. Surprise and Peoria both play their home games there. So, when Morgan made his 5th appearance on November 3rd, I recorded his pitch-by-pitch for the outing. It wasn’t a very good outing, he gave up 5 earned runs on 7 hits and a walk.
Gameday indicated that Morgan threw 48 pitches, 29 strikes – 16 fastballs, 28 changeups, 2 cutters, and 2 sliders. His fastball topped out at 87-88 mph consistently and dipped as low as 84 mph.
His 2 cutters were 73 and 75 mph and neither was thrown for a strike. His 2 sliders were 73 and 74 mph and the one thrown for a strike resulted in a home run. The Brk and Fx for his cutter and slider are eerily similar and may well be the same pitch.
A similar confusion surrounds his changeup. Gameday shows that 16 of his 28 changeups were in the 83-88 mph range and 12 of his changeups were in the 74-78 mph range. I’m fairly certain whoever was identifying pitches buggered this up, especially with everyone else throwing 90+ mph fastballs. At any rate, it looks like Morgan has not yet regained his arm strength.
As worrisome as the lack of velocity is the lack of a swing-and-miss pitch. Among the 48 pitches Morgan threw on the 3rd, he only managed 2 swinging strikes – on a 76 mph changeup and a 74 mph changeup. In fact, other than these 2 pitches and 6 called strikes, batters managed to get their bats on 21 of the 29 strikes Morgan threw. A lot of the results on the balls in play are worded “Line drive …” or “Sharp ground ball …”. But he did manage to throw just over 60% of his pitches for strikes.
I have a bunch of files on the AFL guys and will post reports on them in the upcoming days. This is what happens when you realize you are less a baseball fan than a Phillies fan. Rather than watch other fans’ teams in the playoffs, I monitored our guys in the AFL.
BTW, I can’t find a decent explanation of Brk and Fx. I would appreciate either a good explanation or a site where I can read up on it. Thank you.