Gareth Morgan coming into form
The biggest contributor in that offensive onslaught was the under-the-radar power hitting outfielder Gareth Morgan, a former Seattle farm hand who was released in the first month of the season and was subsequently picked up by the Angels. He’s always been one to display power, in his last two seasons with the Mariners he’s hit 17 HRs (2017) and 19 HRs (2018) yet had extreme difficulty with his overall hitting. 2017 saw him post a slash line of .230/.320/.422 while 2018 saw regression as he posted a line of .157/.246/.382 in 306 AB’s across Rookie level and Class A Advanced with the Mariners.
He was released by the Mariners after hitting .074/.291/.185 in 32 plate appearances to start 2019, but after being picked up by the Angels he seems to have really begun to find himself. His power is far more consistent and aside from some need to polish the plate discipline and cut down on the strikeouts he’s looking like he could go from Minor Leaguer waiver-wire pickup to something more than a fringe prospect. His tools have been coming together nicely as he’s put up a slash line of .290/.327/.645 slash line and is 2nd in Cal League HRs with 21 bombs on the season.
Tonight saw a lot of the same from Morgans short time with the 66ers so far with two hits, one being an 8th inning grand slam to give him 5 RBI’s on the night.
Gareth Morgan on his grand slam in the 8th: “The two at-bats before I was kinda in between the heater and the offspeed pitches. I was a little late on the heater and early on the offspeed, just swinging and missing. The last at-bat I told myself “just commit to the heater, just sell out to the heater” and it was in a decent spot I was looking for. I knew right away, it’s a great feeling. Put a good swing on a good pitch and good things happen.”
If Morgan can find a way to really cut down on his Ks with 95 strikeouts in 196 plate appearances with the Inland Empire 66ers we may see him graduate to Double A, and from there he can very well become a very real player to watch within the Angels system. If his power remains consistent through the higher levers of Minor League baseball we could see another Luis Rengifo type coming into the organization.
Morgan on improving his strikeouts: “I’ve been looking for ways [to cut down K’s]. It all goes back to the approach and sticking to the approach, try to limit the chase. The less I think about it the better”