Splitsville: Erik Morrison v1.1

"Splitsville" is a series of articles on the Yankees' prospects that we'll be doing throughout their minor league careers. In version one/chapter one (v1.1) of Erik Morrison, we'll look how he did against the right-handed hitters versus the lefty hitters, how he pitched on the road versus at home, and more.

(FREE PREVIEW OF PREMIUM CONTENT)

Overshadowed: Erik Morrison, signed as a draft-and-follow as the NCAA Division I saves leader out of Ball State University right before the 2005 MLB Draft, had a solid professional debut with the Staten Island Yankees but it was overshadowed by the performances of his teammates in the bullpen. Morrison went 3-1 with a 2.67 ERA while limiting opposing NY-Penn League batters to a .232 batting average. In fact, he began the year with twelve straight scoreless appearances, giving up his first earned run of the year to the Vermont Expos on July 25th.

Hot & Cold: As previously mentioned, Morrison began the year without giving up an earned run in his first 12 professional appearances. He held opponents to a .214 batting average in his first 14 games, walking just four batters in 19 2/3 innings. Looking like a dominant reliever, Morrison then fell on hard times as the season wrapped up.

Morrison posted a 7.36 ERA in his final seven appearances for Staten Island. A big reason was his lack of control. He walked seven batters in his last 7 1/3 innings and opposing NY-Penn League batters hit .276 off of him during that stretch. Morrison's tailspin at the end of the year could have cost him a possible spot in the Tampa bullpen in 2006. The Yankees are hoping Morrison is closer to the pitcher he proved to be in the first-half of the NY-Penn League season instead of the one that struggled mightily in the second-half.

No Road Woes: Not surprising for a pitcher of his college experience, Erik Morrison proved to be a solid pitcher on the road in his professional debut. Posting a solid 3.38 ERA at Richmond County Ballpark, home of the Staten Island Yankees, Morrison was even better away from home. He went 1-0 with a 1.98 ERA in 11 road appearances in 2005.

Morrison held opposing batters to a .229 average on the road and a .235 batting average at home. With a negligible difference in that area, Morrison proved to have better control at home. He walked over five batters (5.27) per nine innings on the road, but just barely two batters per nine innings at home. The Yankees will watch that situation closely in 2006 and beyond to see if his lack of control on the road continues.

Southpaws Could Be A Problem: A quick look at Morrison's splits with the Staten Island Yankees gives the appearance that he does better against left-handed hitters. He limited lefties to a .226 batting average while right-handed batters hit .235 off of him this past season. However, a closer look reveals a lack of control against left-handed batters.

Morrison's walk ratio, 7.36 batters per nine innings, was demonstratively worse against left-handed batters than it was against righties. He issued just 2.28 walks per nine innings to right-handed batters. So while his batting average against lefties was quite good, his lack of control against them could be a problem as he continues to progress through the minor league system, possibly forcing him to become a right-handed specialist down the road.

Keep The Bases Clear: One way for a burgeoning relief pitching prospect to open eyes is to pitch well with runners on base, showing that he can handle the pressure of inherited base runners. If that is truly the case, Erik Morrison has some work to do despite the solid overall year.

Morrison held opposing batters to a .180 batting average with the bases empty in 2005. However, with runners on base, opponents hit 106 points higher (.286) off of him. Throw in the fact that he allowed batters to hit .275 off of him with runners in scoring position, Morrison clearly favors pitching from the wind-up. He'll have to show marked improvements in his approach with men on base if he's to become the quality relief pitching prospect many inside the Yankees' organization believe he can be.

Not Taking Advantage: While he had a very solid 2005 campaign, Morrison's lack of success in the 9th inning of games this past season was disappointing. Pitching in a bullpen with the likes of Cory Stuart and Josh Schmidt, Erik Morrison didn't have too many opportunities to close out games. However, when he was brought in the 9th inning of games, Morrison didn't take advantage of his opportunities to shine.

Opposing batters hit .385 off of him in the 9th inning this past season, over 200 points higher than they did in either the 7th or 8th inning. Opponents hit just a combined .167 off of him in the 7th and 8th inning this past year. While it seemed highly unlikely he was going to secure a closer's role away from other relievers, the fact that he showed much more success in a setup role may have cemented his future role.

_____________________________________________________

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\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n(FREE PREVIEW OF PREMIUM CONTENT)
\r\n
\r\nOvershadowed: Erik Morrison, signed as a draft-and-follow as the NCAA Division I saves leader out of Ball State University right before the 2005 MLB Draft, had a solid professional debut with the Staten Island Yankees but it was overshadowed by the performances of his teammates in the bullpen. Morrison went 3-1 with a 2.67 ERA while limiting opposing NY-Penn League batters to a .232 batting average. In fact, he began the year with twelve straight scoreless appearances, giving up his first earned run of the year to the Vermont Expos on July 25th.
\r\n
\r\nHot & Cold: As previously mentioned, Morrison began the year without giving up an earned run in his first 12 professional appearances. He held opponents to a .214 batting average in his first 14 games, walking just four batters in 19 2/3 innings. Looking like a dominant reliever, Morrison then fell on hard times as the season wrapped up.
\r\n
\r\nMorrison posted a 7.36 ERA in his final seven appearances for Staten Island. A big reason was his lack of control. He walked seven batters in his last 7 1/3 innings and opposing NY-Penn League batters hit .276 off of him during that stretch. Morrison's tailspin at the end of the year could have cost him a possible spot in the Tampa bullpen in 2006. The Yankees are hoping Morrison is closer to the pitcher he proved to be in the first-half of the NY-Penn League season instead of the one that struggled mightily in the second-half.
\r\n
\r\nNo Road Woes: Not surprising for a pitcher of his college experience, Erik Morrison proved to be a solid pitcher on the road in his professional debut. Posting a solid 3.38 ERA at Richmond County Ballpark, home of the Staten Island Yankees, Morrison was even better away from home. He went 1-0 with a 1.98 ERA in 11 road appearances in 2005.
\r\n
\r\nMorrison held opposing batters to a .229 average on the road and a .235 batting average at home. With a negligible difference in that area, Morrison proved to have better control at home. He walked over five batters (5.27) per nine innings on the road, but just barely two batters per nine innings at home. The Yankees will watch that situation closely in 2006 and beyond to see if his lack of control on the road continues.
\r\n
\r\nSouthpaws Could Be A Problem: A quick look at Morrison's splits with the Staten Island Yankees gives the appearance that he does better against left-handed hitters. He limited lefties to a .226 batting average while right-handed batters hit .235 off of him this past season. However, a closer look reveals a lack of control against left-handed batters.
\r\n
\r\nMorrison's walk ratio, 7.36 batters per nine innings, was demonstratively worse against left-handed batters than it was against righties. He issued just 2.28 walks per nine innings to right-handed batters. So while his batting average against lefties was quite good, his lack of control against them could be a problem as he continues to progress through the minor league system, possibly forcing him to become a right-handed specialist down the road.
\r\n
\r\nKeep The Bases Clear: One way for a burgeoning relief pitching prospect to open eyes is to pitch well with runners on base, showing that he can handle the pressure of inherited base runners. If that is truly the case, Erik Morrison has some work to do despite the solid overall year.
\r\n
\r\nMorrison held opposing batters to a .180 batting average with the bases empty in 2005. However, with runners on base, opponents hit 106 points higher (.286) off of him. Throw in the fact that he allowed batters to hit .275 off of him with runners in scoring position, Morrison clearly favors pitching from the wind-up. He'll have to show marked improvements in his approach with men on base if he's to become the quality relief pitching prospect many inside the Yankees' organization believe he can be.
\r\n
\r\nNot Taking Advantage: While he had a very solid 2005 campaign, Morrison's lack of success in the 9th inning of games this past season was disappointing. Pitching in a bullpen with the likes of Cory Stuart and Josh Schmidt, Erik Morrison didn't have too many opportunities to close out games. However, when he was brought in the 9th inning of games, Morrison didn't take advantage of his opportunities to shine.
\r\n
\r\nOpposing batters hit .385 off of him in the 9th inning this past season, over 200 points higher than they did in either the 7th or 8th inning. Opponents hit just a combined .167 off of him in the 7th and 8th inning this past year. While it seemed highly unlikely he was going to secure a closer's role away from other relievers, the fact that he showed much more success in a setup role may have cemented his future role.
\r\n
\r\n_____________________________________________________
\r\n
\r\nSubscribe to PinstripesPlus.com today! Only $79.95 brings you one full year of Total Access Pass and all premium content on PinstripesPlus.com, Scout™ Player and Roster Database (including the 'Hot News' at the top of the site), Breaking News and Information, Total Access to all Scout.com Websites, and Player Pages, detailing the progress and careers of players from high school, the minors, and the pro ranks.
\r\n
\r\nSample the PinstripesPlus.com Total Access Pass™ at no risk for 7 days, then pay only $7.95 or $21.95. If you want to save 2 months off the monthly subscription price, simply choose the annual PinstripesPlus.com Total Access Pass™ at $79.95.
","mobileBody":" \r\n \r\n(FREE PREVIEW OF PREMIUM CONTENT)
\r\n
\r\nOvershadowed: Erik Morrison, signed as a draft-and-follow as the NCAA Division I saves leader out of Ball State University right before the 2005 MLB Draft, had a solid professional debut with the Staten Island Yankees but it was overshadowed by the performances of his teammates in the bullpen. Morrison went 3-1 with a 2.67 ERA while limiting opposing NY-Penn League batters to a .232 batting average. In fact, he began the year with twelve straight scoreless appearances, giving up his first earned run of the year to the Vermont Expos on July 25th.
\r\n
\r\nHot & Cold: As previously mentioned, Morrison began the year without giving up an earned run in his first 12 professional appearances. He held opponents to a .214 batting average in his first 14 games, walking just four batters in 19 2/3 innings. Looking like a dominant reliever, Morrison then fell on hard times as the season wrapped up.
\r\n
\r\nMorrison posted a 7.36 ERA in his final seven appearances for Staten Island. A big reason was his lack of control. He walked seven batters in his last 7 1/3 innings and opposing NY-Penn League batters hit .276 off of him during that stretch. Morrison's tailspin at the end of the year could have cost him a possible spot in the Tampa bullpen in 2006. The Yankees are hoping Morrison is closer to the pitcher he proved to be in the first-half of the NY-Penn League season instead of the one that struggled mightily in the second-half.
\r\n
\r\nNo Road Woes: Not surprising for a pitcher of his college experience, Erik Morrison proved to be a solid pitcher on the road in his professional debut. Posting a solid 3.38 ERA at Richmond County Ballpark, home of the Staten Island Yankees, Morrison was even better away from home. He went 1-0 with a 1.98 ERA in 11 road appearances in 2005.
\r\n
\r\nMorrison held opposing batters to a .229 average on the road and a .235 batting average at home. With a negligible difference in that area, Morrison proved to have better control at home. He walked over five batters (5.27) per nine innings on the road, but just barely two batters per nine innings at home. The Yankees will watch that situation closely in 2006 and beyond to see if his lack of control on the road continues.
\r\n
\r\nSouthpaws Could Be A Problem: A quick look at Morrison's splits with the Staten Island Yankees gives the appearance that he does better against left-handed hitters. He limited lefties to a .226 batting average while right-handed batters hit .235 off of him this past season. However, a closer look reveals a lack of control against left-handed batters.
\r\n
\r\nMorrison's walk ratio, 7.36 batters per nine innings, was demonstratively worse against left-handed batters than it was against righties. He issued just 2.28 walks per nine innings to right-handed batters. So while his batting average against lefties was quite good, his lack of control against them could be a problem as he continues to progress through the minor league system, possibly forcing him to become a right-handed specialist down the road.
\r\n
\r\nKeep The Bases Clear: One way for a burgeoning relief pitching prospect to open eyes is to pitch well with runners on base, showing that he can handle the pressure of inherited base runners. If that is truly the case, Erik Morrison has some work to do despite the solid overall year.
\r\n
\r\nMorrison held opposing batters to a .180 batting average with the bases empty in 2005. However, with runners on base, opponents hit 106 points higher (.286) off of him. Throw in the fact that he allowed batters to hit .275 off of him with runners in scoring position, Morrison clearly favors pitching from the wind-up. He'll have to show marked improvements in his approach with men on base if he's to become the quality relief pitching prospect many inside the Yankees' organization believe he can be.
\r\n
\r\nNot Taking Advantage: While he had a very solid 2005 campaign, Morrison's lack of success in the 9th inning of games this past season was disappointing. Pitching in a bullpen with the likes of Cory Stuart and Josh Schmidt, Erik Morrison didn't have too many opportunities to close out games. However, when he was brought in the 9th inning of games, Morrison didn't take advantage of his opportunities to shine.
\r\n
\r\nOpposing batters hit .385 off of him in the 9th inning this past season, over 200 points higher than they did in either the 7th or 8th inning. Opponents hit just a combined .167 off of him in the 7th and 8th inning this past year. While it seemed highly unlikely he was going to secure a closer's role away from other relievers, the fact that he showed much more success in a setup role may have cemented his future role.
\r\n
\r\n_____________________________________________________
\r\n
\r\nSubscribe to PinstripesPlus.com today! Only $79.95 brings you one full year of Total Access Pass and all premium content on PinstripesPlus.com, Scout™ Player and Roster Database (including the 'Hot News' at the top of the site), Breaking News and Information, Total Access to all Scout.com Websites, and Player Pages, detailing the progress and careers of players from high school, the minors, and the pro ranks.
\r\n
\r\nSample the PinstripesPlus.com Total Access Pass™ at no risk for 7 days, then pay only $7.95 or $21.95. If you want to save 2 months off the monthly subscription price, simply choose the annual PinstripesPlus.com Total Access Pass™ at $79.95.
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