Morgan Knows Changeup is Key

The Mets' 12th round pick in last June's draft was another piece in the Cyclones' puzzle. Will Morgan was a closer by nature as he worked to this point, but with a budding repertoire, he knows his most successful role will be that of a setup man. Now, he is down at the Instructional League working on his changeup.

In the pitcher's friendly New York-Penn League, it seemed as if Brooklyn manager Edgar Alfonzo could do not wrong with his pitchers. Will Morgan, the 21-year-old right-hander out of Lewis and Clark State College, fit right into plans and he was an important contributor to the Cyclones' league-leading 2.93 staff earned run average.

Morgan, who went a perfect 3-0 with a 2.02 ERA in 22 relief appearances, was the bridge in the staff, pitching in front of guys like second-round pick Brant Rustich, third-round pick Stephen Clyne, and later on the Mets' top overall pick Eddie Kunz.

He relished the opportunity given to him and executed brilliantly at times. He started the year of nearly flawless, giving up just two earns runs in his first 20 innings pitched. He attributes his early achievements to a solid mental approach which prepared him before he ever stepped foot on the mound at KeySpan Park.

"Just being able to not give the hitters credit was important. Before I came to Brooklyn, I was thinking that I can't over think, I can't try to do too much because that will just get me in trouble," he said.

" I stayed calm and pitched my game. I got rid of the mindset that every guy could hit a home run off me. Instead, I thought that I'm going to throw this pitch and put pressure on the hitter."

For most of the season, Morgan posted his numbers with a limited repertoire. He throws both a two-seam and four-seam fastball that ranges from 90-92 MPH and a slider with good break that sits around 78-80. With so few options, it was his poise that allowed him to maintain such consistency.

"Locating my fastball and being confident with it really allowed me to be steady throughout the season," he said. "Working my fastball in and out was one of the most important things I learned in professional baseball, as well as keeping it down. I don't have an overpowering fastball so I have to make sure it's down or it's going to end up in the bleachers."

His two-seam really matured after working Stephen Clyne on his grip, eventually mimicking it and developing much more of a downward break on the pitch. Yet for Morgan, he knows the next big step he must take is the addition of a well-rounded changeup—his priority while in St. Lucie during Instructs.

Currently, he is working with pitching coordinator Al Jackson on the grip of the changeup and the delivery as well. For Morgan, he is all ears to what not only Coach Jackson has to say, but Binghamton pitching coach Ricky Bones and pitching coordinator Rick Waits as well because the changeup is completely new to him.

"It's really just that I never threw a changeup. I got away with just having a fastball and slider in high school and junior college, but I really had to add the changeup when I got here," he said. "I got lucky with it in the past, but you can't get lucky up here, guys can hit sliders really well."

The changeup is coming along for Morgan. He now has the feel and the ability to throw it, but still works on locating it consistently. He was knocked around a bit in his last seven appearances for a 4.66 ERA, recognizing that the lack of the changeup caused him to run into trouble. When his changeup really reaches its full ability, he will truly be prepared for the higher level talent that awaits.

"I like how I improved this year. I was a closer but I fit into this setup role very well and I see myself doing it more in the future," he said. "But I know that as I keep progressing, the changeup has to be there. It's something every pitcher needs and that I'm what I'm down here working towards," he said.


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nIn the pitcher's friendly New York-Penn League, it seemed as if Brooklyn manager Edgar Alfonzo could do not wrong with his pitchers. Will Morgan, the 21-year-old right-hander out of Lewis and Clark State College, fit right into plans and he was an important contributor to the Cyclones' league-leading 2.93 staff earned run average.
\r\n
\r\nMorgan, who went a perfect 3-0 with a 2.02 ERA in 22 relief appearances, was the bridge in the staff, pitching in front of guys like second-round pick Brant Rustich, third-round pick Stephen Clyne, and later on the Mets' top overall pick Eddie Kunz.
\r\n
\r\nHe relished the opportunity given to him and executed brilliantly at times. He started the year of nearly flawless, giving up just two earns runs in his first 20 innings pitched. He attributes his early achievements to a solid mental approach which prepared him before he ever stepped foot on the mound at KeySpan Park.
\r\n
\r\n\"Just being able to not give the hitters credit was important. Before I came to Brooklyn, I was thinking that I can't over think, I can't try to do too much because that will just get me in trouble,\" he said.
\r\n
\r\n\" I stayed calm and pitched my game. I got rid of the mindset that every guy could hit a home run off me. Instead, I thought that I'm going to throw this pitch and put pressure on the hitter.\"
\r\n
\r\nFor most of the season, Morgan posted his numbers with a limited repertoire. He throws both a two-seam and four-seam fastball that ranges from 90-92 MPH and a slider with good break that sits around 78-80. With so few options, it was his poise that allowed him to maintain such consistency.
\r\n
\r\n\"Locating my fastball and being confident with it really allowed me to be steady throughout the season,\" he said. \"Working my fastball in and out was one of the most important things I learned in professional baseball, as well as keeping it down. I don't have an overpowering fastball so I have to make sure it's down or it's going to end up in the bleachers.\"
\r\n
\r\nHis two-seam really matured after working Stephen Clyne on his grip, eventually mimicking it and developing much more of a downward break on the pitch. Yet for Morgan, he knows the next big step he must take is the addition of a well-rounded changeup—his priority while in St. Lucie during Instructs.
\r\n
\r\nCurrently, he is working with pitching coordinator Al Jackson on the grip of the changeup and the delivery as well. For Morgan, he is all ears to what not only Coach Jackson has to say, but Binghamton pitching coach Ricky Bones and pitching coordinator Rick Waits as well because the changeup is completely new to him.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's really just that I never threw a changeup. I got away with just having a fastball and slider in high school and junior college, but I really had to add the changeup when I got here,\" he said. \"I got lucky with it in the past, but you can't get lucky up here, guys can hit sliders really well.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe changeup is coming along for Morgan. He now has the feel and the ability to throw it, but still works on locating it consistently. He was knocked around a bit in his last seven appearances for a 4.66 ERA, recognizing that the lack of the changeup caused him to run into trouble. When his changeup really reaches its full ability, he will truly be prepared for the higher level talent that awaits.
\r\n
\r\n\"I like how I improved this year. I was a closer but I fit into this setup role very well and I see myself doing it more in the future,\" he said. \"But I know that as I keep progressing, the changeup has to be there. It's something every pitcher needs and that I'm what I'm down here working towards,\" he said.
\r\n
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