Eli Morgan

Position: RHSP
Level: Double-A
Affiliate: Akron RubberDucks
League: Eastern League
Born: 05/13/1996 (Age: 27)
Height: 5'10''
Weight: 190
B/T: Right / Right
Acquired: 8th Rd., 2017 MLB First-Year Player Draft (CLE)

Prospect Spotlight

Morgan has moved quickly since being selected by Cleveland in the eighth round in 2017, having success at every level and named to the Eastern League All-Star Game. There’s nothing overpowering about his stuff, but he has posted strikeout numbers like a power pitcher given excellent control and ability to change speeds. Standing just 5-foot-10, the diminutive righty rarely breaks 90 mph with his heater, sitting comfortably in the 86-to-88 mph range. Despite 30-grade velocity, he commands all parts of the zone and rarely walks hitters, able to speed up his fastball with a devastating changeup. Morgan gets excellent separation on the pitch without sacrificing armspeed, getting hitters way out front with diving action down and armside. He shows his changeup to both lefties and righties, wrinkling in a short slider he tunnels well off the fastball to same-side hitters.

This is a confounding type of pitching prospect. Given his track record of simply getting outs everywhere he goes, you’d kick yourself for writing him off if he has success. By the same token, it’s tough to think of any 5-foot-10 starting pitcher who hangs around long while pitching near the mid-80s. I’m still more of a skeptic than true believer, though Morgan’s excellent start to the year in Double-A makes it tougher to call him a low-minors mirage altogether. I don’t think he’s durable or dynamic enough to face modern Major Leauge lineups numerous times in a traditional starting role, but it’s clear he really excels at what heĀ does do. A realistic ceiling for Morgan is a tricky middle reliever or longman/spot-starter who soaks up multiple innings at a time.