AFL – Adam Morgan

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-

  1. October 10th: 10 pitches, 1.0 inning, 3 batters faced
  2. October 15th: 42 pitches, 1.2 innings, 10 batter faced
  3. October 21st: 57 pitches, 2.2 innings, 16 batters faced
  4. October 27th: 57 pitches, 4.0 innings, 17 batters faced
  5. November 3rd: 48 pitches, 3.0 innings, 17 batters faced
  6. 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.




7 thoughts on “AFL – Adam Morgan

  1. One nitpick. Traditionally, the decimal place in an innings total denotes the number of outs. So 5 outs would be shown as 1.2 innings. The exception is if when you’re running statistics.

  2. If I were a Philliies coache it is conceivable with someone like Morgan that I might be very cautious about the stress that throwing a breaking ball causes, or the stress of throwing his hardest and have coached him to focus on location. Of course, only either a coach, or the unthinkable patience of having to wait could answer whether that is trus. Also (of course) I am not nearly knowledgeable or smart enough to be a Phillies coach. Probably not knowledgeable enough even to know how to spell “knowledgeable”. Regardless, great to read your post, Jim and thank you very much for putting it together

  3. I sure hope these next three months Adam Morgan works on a shoulder strengthening regiment , something like a Throwers10 program, and also some tossing of sorts.

  4. It’s worth noting that in the start before the one Jim described above, there were reports that Morgan was touching 92 mph. Remember that his time in the AFL was basically still a part of his rehab. I’m not counting on Morgan getting back to his old self but I wouldn’t panic over his velocity readings just yet.

  5. His final start wasn’t as bad. One thing about a guy returning from a major arm or shoulder injury is that the arm “feels” different each time out initially. It is very likely that Morgan is going through the feeling out process with his arm and is still fearful of letting loose, which is to be expected. Spring training will be a much better indicator but I’m glad he got to throw some without having to wait all winter. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees with pitchers’ arms and shoulders after surgery…. Pettibone and Watson will be next under the magnifying glass next season.

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