blue jays minor league year in review

2021 Year In Review: INF Tanner Morris

Jays From the Couch Will Review Seasons Of Many, Hopefully, Most, Of The Toronto Blue Jays Prospects. Not Just The Top Prospects.

 


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Tanner Morris

Drafted in the 2019 Draft in the 5th round, Tanner Morris spent his 1st professional season as a member of the Vancouver Canadians. In 64 games, he batted .246 with 16 doubles, a triple, and 2 home runs while playing splitting his playing time between 2nd (29GP) and SS (29GP).

 

In 2018, the 22-yr-old joined the Short-Season A-Ball Vancouver Canadians. Kirwer batted .280 with 13 doubles, 6 triples, and 4 HR in 61 games. Kirwer showed off some excellent speed and base-stealing ability by swiping 28 bases in 34 attempts. He reached base at a .351OBP clip walking 16 and striking out 58.

 

Baseball America praised Morris for having a complete hitting approach and impressive barrel control. BA suggests that more power is possible as he fills out. In the field, Morris is thought to have the arm to play SS but not the quickness. He is thought to be a 3rd base or corner OF candidate but if his power doesn’t develop he would fit nicely at 2nd base.

 

Month-By-Month

With the Vancouver Canadians moving up from Short-Season A-Ball to Full-Season Advanced-A, Tanner Morris returned to the C’s in 2021. He made 19 starts in May, posting a pedestrian .250BA with .668OPS. He didn’t hit any doubles but he did hit a home run while scoring 6 runs and stealing 3 bases in 4 attempts.

 

June was a little better, as Morris upped his BA to .265 and his OPS to .787 in 23GP. The 24-yr-old registered 5 doubles and 2 triples while improving his BB:K ratio from 11:27 in May to 19:21.

 

He exploded in July, batting .326 with an impressive .906OBP in 24GP. Tanner Morris started the month with a .258 batting average and finished with a .284 batting average. Between July 16th and 22nd, Morris produced 5 straight 2-hit games which included an 8-game hit streak (July 13th to 22nd). The C’s infielder collected 6 more doubles and added 3 home runs to his total. He more than doubled his RBI total with 20 runs batted in while improving his BB:K again with a 14:15.

 

In 23 games in August, the steady infielder continued to swing a hot bat with a .299BA and .800OPS, adding 8 more doubles, a triple, and a home run to his totals. He drove in 15RBI, walking 10, and striking out 20 times.

 

Tanner played 14 games in September, batting .263 with a .670OPS. He didn’t hit any doubles but did add two more home runs and drove in 7RBI.

 

At the End Of the Day

 

In his age 23 season, Tanner Morris played in 103 games producing a .359wOBA and 115wRC+. His power started to show up with 19 doubles, 3 triples, and 7HR while finishing with a .116ISO and .348BABIP. Tanner consistently batted 2nd for the C’s, scoring 55 runs and driving in 57RBI.

 

He walked 58 times for a 12.3BB% while striking out 90 times for a 19.1K%. He finished with a decent .64BB/K to go along with an impressive .285/.381/.401 triple slash and tidy .782OPS.

 

His base-stealing numbers disappeared after the first month. In May he swiped 3 bases, adding one more in June; however, he didn’t attempt another steal all season.

 

For his efforts, Tanner Morris was named to the High-A West Postseason All-Star team along with teammate Spencer Horwitz.

 

Best Game

On July 7th, Tanner Morris collected 7 total bases, hitting a single, a double, and a home run while scoring two runs and driving in 3. He went 3-for-5 with a walk. Morris was batting 2nd and playing 2nd against the Everett AquaSox. In his 1st at-bat, Morris flew out. He doubled in the 3rd inning and socred off a wild pitch to tie the game at 2-2. Morris singled in the 4th, driving in a pair of runs, 6-2. Tanner led off the 6th with his 2nd HR of the season, 8-5. He walked in his final at-bat in the 9th.

 

LHP vs RHP

The native Charlottesville, VA., posted better numbers against RHP than against LHP. In 330 at-bats, Morris batted .297 with a .796OPS. Against LHP, in 67 at-bats, Morris batted just .224 with a .702OPS. His OBP didn’t seem to show much of a split .381 (RHP) and .373 (LHP). Morris definitely showed more power when facing RHP with a .415SLG versus .328SLG when facing LHP.

 

Clutch or No

With the bases empty, Morris slashed .277/.371/.408 while hitting 9 doubles, 2 triples, and 5 solo home runs. With the bases loaded, Morris slashed .455/.429/.455 with no extra-base hits and 11RBI.

 

Morris had 117 at-bats with RISP, batting .299 with a.810OPS. He showed a clutch bat with 7 doubles, a triple, and a home run.

 

In the Field

Tanner Morris was primarily used at 2nd base (43GP), while also playing 39 games at 3rd base, and 17 games at SS. At 2nd Morris committed just one error, turning 18 double plays and posting a .994FPCT. At 3rd Morris committed 6 errors, turning 2 double plays and posting a .929FPCT. At SS Morris committed 3 errors, turning 11 double plays and posting a .948FPCT.

 

Looking Ahead

With his strong season, Tanner Morris positioned himself very well heading into 2022. It is safe to say that Morris has earned a promotion to Double-A in 2022 but which position will he play? After putting up impressive numbers for the C’s, Rafael Lantigua was promoted ahead of Morris and plays the same positions, so this will need to be sorted out.

 

Let’s assume that Morris will see more time at 3rd with Lantigua being penciled in at 2nd. This would leave SS open for Orelvis Martinez if the Front Office wants to challenge him. This is all under the assumption that Jordan Groshans and Vinny Capra are assigned to Buffalo.

 

Morris appears to have a good chance to develop into a viable infield prospect; however, Morris would appear to be trending toward trade bait at this stage in his development.

 

 

*Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase.

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Ryan Mueller

Lover of all things Toronto Blue Jays. Blue Jays MiLB fanatic. I strive for average while stumbling onto above average. Rogers isn't cheap. Baseball is a business. Your right, but I'm more right.