Josh Morris Interview

Josh Morris is the University of Georgia's All-time home run leader. After a terrific career in Athens, Morris was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 12th round of the draft last month. The Braves Show's Bill Shanks talked with Morris, who is now with the Rome Braves in the South Atlantic League.

SHANKS: First off, are you tired?
MORRIS: No not at all. It‘s tough playing everyday. Coming from college, I guess you could say I‘m a little fresher than all the other guys, but it hasn‘t hit me yet. I‘m alright.

SHANKS: You think it‘s going to hit you at some point?
MORRIS: It‘s got to. Playing every night…the key thing is having some days off. It can be tough.

SHANKS: What were your thoughts going into the draft?
MORRIS: I don't know. Just to try and get drafted as high as I could and let whatever happened happen. Fortunately enough I ended up here. Happy to be here.

SHANKS: Were you hoping to go higher?
MORRIS: Yeah I thought I could go higher, but I think it worked out very well being in Rome and being fifteen minutes away from home. I haven‘t really been at home in three years. I‘ll take that.

SHANKS: Why do you think you dropped?
MORRIS: I really don‘t know. The draft‘s the draft.

SHANKS: What were scouts telling you?
MORRIS: Anywhere from four to five, somewhere in there. That was good. I ended up dropping to twelve, but it was no big deal.

SHANKS: So when the Braves called you in the 12th, did that make it easier to take?
MORRIS: Their history… and I heard they had a great minor league system, so that made it easy

SHANKS: Did your power develop at UGA or did you have it in high school?
MORRIS: I‘ve always been a power hitter. I have a longer swing that most people, so I‘ve always had it

SHANKS: Have you hit with the wood bat a lot before?
MORRIS: Oh yeah, a lot in the summer leagues as I was coming up. Growing up from high school to college and the Cape and everything.

SHANKS: You played in the Cape Cod League?
MORRIS: Yeah.

SHANKS: How did you do?
MORRIS: I hit league average, which was about .230-something. That‘s not bad there. The pitching there is unbelievable.

SHANKS: What do you have to do to transition from the aluminum to a wood bat?
MORRIS: Definitely shorten up. If you‘ve got a long swing, you‘re going to break a lot of bats. That‘s the case the first week. I went through a lot. I‘ll be alright now.

SHANKS: Now that you're here, is it fun to think you're here in 2006, where will you be in 2010 or 2011?
MORRIS: Yeah. You wonder that every day. It's kind of different thinking that way. It's fun to dream though.

SHANKS: What was the entire College World Series experience like?
MORRIS: It was unbelievable. Just for the fact that you don‘t know any of those people and you have 25,000 people show up for a game on the weekday when most people are usually working. It was impressive.

SHANKS: What‘s it like to play at home?
MORRIS: Something I haven't felt in a while. It's relaxing. To have your family come over… it's just fun to play in front of everybody.

SHANKS: What are your goals the rest of the season?
MORRIS: Get my batting average up right now. Just have fun. This game can get tedious and long, so you've got to have fun.

SHANKS: Have you always played first?
MORRIS: No I actually played the outfield in high school. Went to college as an outfielder and got converted there.

SHANKS: Could you still play there?
MORRIS: I think I could.

SHANKS: How do you think you are doing around first base?
MORRIS: Defensively I'm doing fine. I just need to get the bat going a little bit.


Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional scouting and player development philosophies. He can also be heard regularly on the Braves Radio Network. Email Bill at thebravesshow@email.com.


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