Robert Michael Morrison
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 210 lb.
- School University of Miami
Robbie Morrison was a pitcher who peaked at AA.
Amateur highlights and lowlights
Morrison went 4-2 with 14 saves and a 1.68 ERA as a college freshman at Miami, with 88 strikeouts in 59 innings. Baseball America named him a second-team All-American behind Kris Benson, Seth Greisinger, Braden Looper, Ed Yarnall and Evan Thomas. He tied for second in NCAA Division I in saves. In his most important moment, though, he fell short. With one on and two outs in the 9th inning of the 1996 College World Series, Morrison tossed a curveball that Warren Morris hammered over the wall to blow Miami's Series hopes and give LSU the title instead. It would be one of the most remembered home runs in college baseball in the 20th Century.
Robbie was 4-2 with 8 saves and a 1.49 ERA for the University of Miami in 1997, with 82 whiffs and 38 hits in 54 innings. He was named an All-American by Collegiate Baseball while Baseball America picked him as third-team. He had the lowest ERA on a Miami club that finished third in NCAA Division I. That summer, he played for Team USA and was 1-2 with two saves and a 5.03 ERA in 13 games as their most-used hurler. He struck out 32 in 20 innings. In the 1997 Intercontinental Cup, their biggest event, the right-hander was 0-1 with a 4.15 ERA. The loss, as in the '96 Series, came in the finale. After replacing Jason Jennings with one out in the 7th, he had finished that frame and tossed a shutout 8th. In the 9th, he had a chance to give the USA the title with a 6-5 lead, but allowed Australia a run. Then, in the bottom of the tenth, Morrison loaded the bases with one out before walking free-swinging Clayton Byrne to force in the losing run. He had given up five hits and four walks in 2 1/3 innings on the day.
Morrison struggled somewhat as a junior, going 2-2 with 12 saves and a 4.24 ERA. He whiffed 67 in 40 innings and walked 10, both good numbers. He also tied Jason Arnold for 4th in NCAA Division I in saves, finishing with 34 for his collegiate career. The Kansas City Royals chose him in the second round of the 1998 amateur draft and signed him for a $475,000 bonus. The 47th overall pick, he was the fourth hurler taken by Kansas City after Jeff Austin, Matt Burch and Chris George.
Robbie made his pro debut with the 1998 Spokane Indians, going 3-0 with 13 saves and a 2.13 ERA as a very good closer. He allowed 15 hits in 25 1/3 innings and struck out 33, but walked 18. In 1999, Morrison was 2-5 with six saves and a 2.27 ERA for the Wilmington Blue Rocks (47 K in 43 2/3 IP, a WHIP just over 1) and 2-1 with five saves and a 2.01 ERA for the Wichita Wranglers. Despite excellent work in his first AA season, he would never advance beyond that level.
The right-hander was 3-3 with five saves and a 3.38 ERA back with Wichita in 2000, serving as a setup man for Shawn Sonnier. Shoulder surgery then sidelined him and he never fully recovered. He only worked two shutout innings for the 2001 GCL Royals on a rehab stint. In '02, the former prospect was still doing well with Wilmington (2-3, 9 Sv, 2.42, .193 opponent average, 53 K in 48 1/3 IP) but had less success with Wichita (0-1, 4.50 in 12 G).
In 2003, Morrison was 4-3 with 11 saves and a 3.54 ERA for the Blue Rocks. He limited opponents to a .202 average and struck out 65 in 53 1/3 innings. It was the end of the line for Robbie in Organized Baseball. Signing with the '04 Elmira Pioneers, he went 3-4 with four saves and a 3.61 ERA.
Overall, Morrison went 19-19 with 53 saves and a 3.03 ERA in 208 games in the minors.
- 1997-2005 Baseball Almanacs
- Defunct IBAF site