Scouting Twin Prospect #18: Eduardo Morlan

Eduardo Morlan is a special kind of pitcher, and at age 20, has tremendous upside, and potential. He has already been through three levels during his first two seasons in the Twins organization, and is slated to be in the rotation at Beloit to open the season. With a mid-90s fastball, a nice change, and a devastating curveball, Morlan is one of the top right-handed pitching prospects in the Twins organization.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Eduardo Morlan
Position: Starting Pitcher
DOB: March 1, 1986
Height: 6'2''
Weight: 210
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Eduardo Morlan is one of those pitching prospects that really excites you with his arsenal of pitches, and his extremely high ceiling as a Major League prospect. Taken in the third round of the 2004 draft, Morlan signed with the Twins for 420,000 dollars. After the Twins discovered he had an enlarged heart, he was shut down until the Twins were absolutely sure that he was alright, and then he was assigned to the Gulf Coast League Twins.

It did not take Morlan long to show that he belonged playing professional baseball, as he was one of the better pitchers in the Gulf Coast League during the 2004 season. He appeared in 11 games, starting two, and he struck out better than one batter per inning. He also saved one game, as he allowed only one home run during the 25 innings of work he put in.

Last season, Morlan began the year with Elizabethton of the Appalachian League, but quickly showed he was far to good for the Apply League. In four games, all starts, he posted an 0.82 earned run average, as he made Appalachian League batters look absolutely silly. Some of his numbers were staggering, as he struck out 30 batters, walked only six, and held opponents to a .085 batting average. In 22 innings of work, he only allowed six hits, and was promptly promoted to Beloit of the Midwest League.

Getting his first taste of full-season baseball, Morlan had mixed reviews at the Low-A level. Being only 19-years old in the Midwest League is an accomplishment in itself, but he showed the ability to be both dominant, and wild. In his ten starts, he held the opposition to a .207 batting average, but it was his 31 walks in 51 innings that really did him in.

Still, he fanned better than a batter an inning, as he won a career-best four games. In 2006, he may once again be with the Snappers, but if he has a good spring, could be pushed to High-A Fort Myers.

Repertoire: Fastball, Curveball, Changeup

Fastball. Morlan saw his fastball dip a couple digits during the 2005 season, but it is still one of the nastiest heaters in the organization. The ball seems to explode in the catcher's mitt, as he can get that heater up to around 95 miles per hour. For a 20-year old, that is some serious heat, and he may be able to kick it up a notch as he advances in age. Most of the time, his fastball sits in the 91-93 mile per hour range.

Other Pitches.Some scouts believe that it is with his off-speed pitches that Morlan really sets himself apart from other pitching prospects, which is saying a lot considering he throws in the mid-90s. His curveball, which is one of the top five curveballs in the organization, can be almost unhittable at times. This is really his outpitch, as he worked a third pitch, a changeup, into his arsenal during extended spring training in 2005. He seems to have confidence in the change as well, and now has one of the better three-pitch arsenals in the Twins organization.

Pitching.Morlan has a lot of torque in his delivery, and it is one of the main reasons why he is able to generate such speed, and movement on his pitches. He is one of the more fierce competitors in the organization, and it is his ability to take on a challenge that really has Twins scouts excited. He is also a confident young man, who is not afraid to throw any of his pitches, in any situation.

Projection.Morlan should remain in the starting rotation at Beloit to start the year, but some predict he may be moved back into the bullpen. With his ability to throw strikes, as seen before the call-up to Beloit, his three pitches could be deadly in a righty/righty matchup out of the bullpen. Still, I like the way the kid throws as a starter, and would like to see him get the chance to hone his skills as a starting pitcher, before they attempt to move him back into the bullpen.

ETA. 2009. With his arsenal, it is not a matter of if he will make it to the Major League, but it is a matter of when. He will be 20 years old when he opens up his 2006 season, so there is absolutely no rush on him. He has taken his first two years in the organization and has grown as a pitcher, and will use the 4.39 ERA at Beloit as motivation for the upcoming season. I look for him to make his way to Fort Myers in 2006, and be a 21-year old in Double-A during the 2007 season. From there, I believe he will need a year in Rochester, and will make his Major League debut at 23.

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