Cody Morris earned the 12th spot in fan voting for our Covering the Corner 2022 Prospect Countdown. The voting? Not close.
As is tradition, let us review his statistics for 2021:
2021 (AA): 20.0 IP, 5 GS, 36.3 K%, 8.8 BB%, 1.35 ERA, 3.14 FIP
2021 (AAA): 36.2 IP, 9 GS, 36.1 K%, 8.3 BB%, 1.72 ERA, 3.06 FIP
To my eyes, there does not appear to be much left for him to prove in terms of talent. Slap me if you’ve heard this before — he is a seventh-round pick out of a reputable college program who rocketed through the minors.
Consistency and makeup are the fuzzier skills that round out a starting pitcher. That’s what remains to be seen for Morris. As Guardians fans, we are familiar with a few different pitcher types who can be remarkably talented but never quite pan out the way you expect. Danny Salazar is one. Trevor Bauer is another. This is not meant to begin discussion of the situations of those particular players, but rather to emphasize that talent doesn’t take you the distance. Luck can have a lot to do with it, too.
My outlook on Morris, then, is this: Let’s get a really good look at him in spring training. These numbers are delicious and I’d like to snack on them throughout the regular season (may it start on time), but I do not want to work up an appetite until I’ve had a chance to sample his offerings a little bit more.
What are those offerings, you ask? Fastball, curveball, changeup, and a brand-new cutter that he added to his arsenal (ask and you shall receive, Justin Lada). In the above-linked interview with the Baltimore Sun in which the cutter is disclosed, Morris credits an increased focus on mobility with boosting his command. As an added bonus, he has also touched 99 mph on the gun in the past year.
#Indians 24yr old RHP prospect Cody Morris throws 4 no-hit innings striking out 5 in his 2nd (AAA) start for Columbus. Morris has not allowed a run over his first two (AAA) starts.— Guardians Prospective (@CleGuardPro) August 14, 2021
Today - 4.0(IP) 0H 0R 0ER 2BB 5SO
AAA - 8.0(IP) 1H 0R 0ER 3BB 13SO 0.00 ERA@CLBClippers #OurCLE pic.twitter.com/VBQbKNcF0K
So yes — it appears that the Cleveland Guardians have, once again, uncovered a dusty pitching gem to cut, shape, and polish. Not every gem becomes a jewel but they all have their shine. All that is left is to see how Cody Morris catches the light.
Peyton Battenfield, RHP (Age 24)
2021 (A+): 31.0 IP, 6 GS, 42.2 K%, 4.3 BB%, 1.45 ERA, 1.93 FIP
2021 (AA): 72.0 IP, 13 GS, 29.1 K%, 5.0 BB%, 3.00 ERA, 3.47 FIP
Acquired from Tampa Bay in the Jordan Luplow trade, Battenfield has elite strikeout-to-walk ratios and helped lead Akron to a Double-A championship in 2021
Tanner Burns, RHP (Age 23)
2021 (A+): 75.2 IP, 18 GS, 28.9 K%, 9.2 BB%, 3.57 ERA, 4.35 FIP
A second-round pick in 2019 who put up a rock-solid season at High-A in 2021 with above average strikeout totals and a reasonable walk rate. Burns was a workhorse last year.
Xzavion Curry, RHP (Age 23)
2021 (A): 25.1 IP, 5 GS, 40.4 K%, 4.3 BB%, 1.07 ERA, 2.08 FIP
2021 (A+): 67.2 IP, 13 GS, 29.6 K%, 4.4 BB%, 2.66 ERA, 3.99 FIP
2021 (AA): 4.2 IP, 1 GS, 25.0 K%, 0.0 BB%, 3.86 ERA, 6.94 FIP
A 2019 seventh-round pick who made his pro debut in 2021, Curry soared through three levels of Cleveland’s system while posting elite strikeout to walk ratios along the way.
Petey Halpin, OF (Age 19)
2021 (A): 246 PA, .294/.363/.425, 1 HR, 11 SB, 8.5 BB%, 20.3 K%, 117 wRC+
The 2020 third-round pick made his pro debut in full-season ball in the back half of the 2021 season, where he impressed with a 117 wRC+ despite being one of the youngest players at the level.
Bryan Lavastida, C (Age 23)
2021 (A+): 198 PA, .303/.399/.467, 5 HR, 14 SB, 13.1 BB%, 15.2 K%, 136 wRC+
2021 (AA): 119 PA, .291/.373/.466, 3 HR, 2 SB, 10.1 BB%, 23.5 K%, 130 wRC+
2021 (AAA): 21 PA, .158/.238/.316, 1 HR, 0 SB, 9.5 BB%, 47.6 K%, 47 wRC+
Transitioned from infielder to catcher in college and has continued to blossom at the position ever since. Fifteenth-round selection in the 2018, hit a career-high nine home runs in 2021.
Angel Martinez, INF (Age 20)
2021 (A): 424 PA, .241/.319/.382, 7 HR, 13 SB, 10.1 BB%, 20.8 K%, 92 wRC+
An advanced switch-hitting middle infielder who has the potential to be the best of Cleveland’s many advanced switch-hitting middle infielders down the road.
Bo Naylor, C (Age 22)
2021 (AA): 356 PA, .188/.280/.332, 10 HR, 10 SB, 10.4 BB%, 31.5 K%, 69 wRC+
Offense took a step back in 2021, but has earned good marks for his defense and framing behind the plate. One of the youngest players in Double-A last season.
Doug Nikhazy, LHP (Age 22)
2021: Drafted 58th overall in the 2021 MLB Draft
Lefty with a fastball-curveball-cutter-changeup mix with a higher floor, but perhaps a lower ceiling.
Jose Tena, SS (Age 20)
2021 (A+): 447 PA, .281/.331/.467, 16 HR, 10 SB, 6.0 BB%, 26.2 K%, 115 wRC+
An under-the-radar middle infield prospect who made his presence widely known when he dominated the 2021 Arizona Fall League despite being one of the youngest players participating.
Who should be the No. 13 prospect for 2022?
This poll is closed