Gareth Morgan: Prospect Profile for Seattle Mariners' No. 74 Overall Pick

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Gareth Morgan: Prospect Profile for Seattle Mariners' No. 74 Overall Pick
Bleacher Report

Player: Gareth Morgan

Drafted by: Seattle Mariners

Position: OF

DOB: 4/12/1996 (Age: 18)

Height/Weight: 6'4", 210 lbs

Bats/Throws: R/R

School: North Toronto Collegiate Institute

College Commitment: North Carolina State

 

Background

Hitters don't come prepackaged any better than Gareth Morgan, especially at the high school level. He's already a monster at 6'4" and 210 pounds, though he looks bigger than that in a uniform. 

The draft world has known about Morgan for a long time, as the young Canadian participated in the Under Armour All-American Game two years ago as a sophomore (the event is typically for juniors heading into their senior season). 

Canada isn't exactly a scouting hotbed, so it tells you something about Morgan's talent that he was invited to participate in a prestigious event like the Under Armour Game and has been a staple on draft lists for the last 12 months. 

 

Full Scouting Report

Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 80-point scouting scale, with the current score first and projected score second.

Hitting: 35/45

Despite his impressive size, Morgan struggles mightily in the batter's box; he has good bat speed and tremendous raw strength, but he pulls off the ball and has such long levers that getting around on inside pitches is a problem; pitchers can and have exploited his raw approach and inability to drive the ball to the opposite field.

 

Power: 50/65

Morgan has some of the best raw power you will find in this draft; can absolutely crush a batting practice fastball; getting the pop to play in games is another story, as pitchers know how to attack him, and he struggles making adjustments; in-game power will likely never match the raw power, but if he learns to hit the ball the other way and makes enough contact, he can luck into 25-30 homers.

   

Plate Discipline: 30/45

In addition to poor adjustments from at-bat to at-bat, Morgan's got virtually no idea what to do at the plate; pitch recognition is poor, as opponents know they can get him to chase anything in the dirt, and anything up in the zone is catnip; small window where he can make you pay, which is saying something given how tall the 18-year-old is. 

 

Speed: 40/40

There's not much to Morgan's legs on the bases or in the field; sluggish in both areas, not being more than a station-to-station runner. His range in the outfield has never been great, which is why left field is the most logical landing spot for the young man. 

 

Defense: 35/40

Morgan's raw nature doesn't just stop in the batter's box; he's an unrefined outfielder, which is even more evident since he can't cover ground with his legs; all reactions and no instincts in the outfield, meaning he's got to be right where the ball is hit or that fly balls have to stay in flight for more than a few seconds; not a pretty profile, but a team can hide him in left field hoping the bat will be the carrying tool. 

 

Arm: 50/50

It's not all negative for Morgan on the defensive side; average arm strength, though he often struggles with accuracy from the outfield; should be as fine as a corner outfielder with his profile.

 

MLB Player Comparison: Chris Carter

Chris Carter is the poster child for active players with massive raw power and too many contact issues to consistently show it off. Morgan is even built like Houston's powerful slugger, with Carter being listed at 6'4", 245 pounds. Think of Carter's 2013 season (.223/.320/.451) as the kind of ceiling for a player like Morgan. 

 

Projection: Average regular for first-division team

 

MLB ETA: 2018

 

Chances of Signing: 80%

There's been a lot of negativity regarding Morgan in this profile, and deservedly so, but when you watch him in batting practice launching balls over the left field fence, it's hard not to fall in love with the potential. Teams are always going to pay for power, even with a questionable hit tool and no definite position, so the idea that he won't sign wherever he gets drafted seems too far-fetched. 

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