Top 30 Prospects: #25 Ty Morrison

Throughout spring training I’ll be running down my list of the top 30 Rays prospects, with the occasional weekend interlude. Check back daily to get caught up on the system with a new capsule each day.

Ty Morrison | 6-2/170
4th round, 2008 draft (Tigard HS, OR)

What happened in 2012? He played in double-A as a 21-year-old. That’s pretty much the headline here, because his early-season promotion came as a surprise after struggling in 2011 and a not-exactly-roaring start with Charlotte. But with Montgomery, he hit .269/.341/.373, obviously not tearing the cover off the ball but he held his own. His best tool is his speed and he did steal 31 bases, though that’s down from 58 in 2010. He uses his speed well on defense, grading as a plus outfielder with a decent arm.

What needs to happen in 2013? Continued progress. Considered quite raw as a high schooler, the $64,000 question with Morrison has been contact. He’s improved as he’s moved up the ladder, cutting a 26% strikeout rate in 2010 in Bowling Green down to 19.2% this past season. His power and walk rates have declined, so bringing those back up combined with the fewer strikeouts would be significant. As he doesn’t have the body to project for much over-the-fence power, the walk rate, speed, and contact (read: leadoff-man skills) are most important.

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