The LA Angels have a lot of strong pitching in the lower minor leagues and right-hander Ben Morrison is one of the best so far in the 2019 season.
When the LA Angels Ben Morrison was drafted in the 10th round of the 2018 Amateur Draft out of Western Kentucky University he was hoping to just get a chance to pitch well and advance through the Angels system getting to the majors one day.
So far Morrison is doing very well in 2019 starting out in Low Single-A Burlington. Morrison pitched in 16 games and had a 0.69 ERA giving up only two runs in 26 innings of work with 34 strikeouts and only eight walks. In addition Morrison had a 0.81 WHIP and three saves.
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Morrison earned a promotion to High Single-A Inland Empire to pitch for the 66ers. He has only pitched in three games so far and done well again pitching 6.2 innings with a 2.70 ERA striking out five batters with three walks. If Morrison continues to pitch well you could see him in Double-A before too long.
I had a chance to talk to Morrison, a Bowling Green, Kentucky native, about his early success.
What’s it been like to advance so quickly this season?
“I was very happy when Jack (Howell) our manager in Burlington gave me the good news I was being called up,” Morrison said. “It makes it a lot more fun coming to the ballpark when you’re having success. I had some good outings over there and hope to continue it here.”
What do you see is the biggest difference from college to Low Single-A to High Single-A?
“Guys are older here and are more mature. There are more good hitters in the line-up and you can’t make as many mistakes because they will make you pay,” Morrison said. “In college you may have a couple of good hitters in the line-up, but here everyone can hit. There is definitely a learning curve.”
What have you learned from watching the big leaguers during Spring Training?
“It’s the way they approach the game. they are very serious and have a game plan that they stick to,” Morrison said. “Dedicating your entire life to the game is what I’m learning you need to do as a pro in order to have success.”
Do you like your role as a reliever and what is your favorite pitches to throw?
“I love relieving, I don’t think I have ever started. I’m comfortable with it,” Morrison said. “My best pitch is my fastball is between 92-96 MPH and I also throw a slider and a change-up. I mix all three.”
What is your goals for this year?
“The biggest thing I went into this year with is not to have any expectations. I’m just going to do my best every outing,” Morrison said. “I just want to perform at my best level and let the results take care of itself.”
Your an hour away from Anaheim, Do you dare to dream?
“Absolutely, you think about it. I don’t think any of us would be playing this game as hard as we do if we didn’t have that dream.”
The Angels definitely have a diamond in the rough in Morrison. Keep an eye on him as you may see him in the majors in a few years.