Akeel J. Morris
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 170 lb.
- High School Charlotte Amalie High School
- Debut June 17, 2015
Pitcher Akeel Morris was a 10th-round selection of the New York Mets in the 2010 amateur draft. He showed a very live arm in his first two seasons of rookie ball, with 10.5 strikeouts per 9 innings pitched. The first of these seasons was with the GCL Mets, and the second with the Kingsport Mets. He also needed to harness his control: his BB/9 ratio was 6.5.
Morris had a rough year in 2012, his third year of rookie ball back with Kingsport, going 0-6 with a 7.98 ERA. He increased his strikeout rate, however, with 11.7 Ks per 9 IP. He also lowered his BB/9 ratio to 5.2
Graduating to short-season Class A ball with the Brooklyn Cyclones in 2013, Morris progressed nicely, with a 4-1 record and 1.00 ERA in 45 innings pitched. He struck out 60 and walked 23. This intriguing prospect, now in his fifth pro season, moved up to full-season Class A ball with the Savannah Sand Gnats in 2014 where he struck out batters at a higher rate than ever, finishing the year 89 Ks in 57 innings, or 14.1 K/9. He had a minute 0.63 ERA in 41 games, going 4-1 with 16 saves.
The rest of his climb to the majors went very quickly. He started 2015 with the St. Lucie Mets of the Florida State League and was 0-1, 1.69 with 13 saves after 24 games, with 46 strikeouts and 14 walks in 32 innings. On June 17th, he was promoted all the way to the major leagues, making his debut that day in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays. That last rung proved rather steep, as he gave 3 hits and 3 walks in two-thirds of an inning, resulting in 5 runs; one of the hits was a three-run homer by Danny Valencia. The Mets were down 3-0 when he came in to replace Jon Niese in the 8th, and had fallen to an 8-0 deficit when Jack Leathersich was summoned to record the last out. Realizing they may have been asking a bit too much of the youngster, the Mets then sent Akeel back to the minors after the game, but this time to AA, so that he could continue his progression at a more normal rate. He went 0-1, 2.45 in 23 games for the Binghamton Mets to finish the season at 0-2, 2.05 in 47 games and 61 1/3 innings.
Akeel started 2016 back with Binghamton and was 2-2, 4.62 in 22 games on June 8th when he was traded to the Atlanta Braves in return for veteran infielder Kelly Johnson. The Mets had just placed 3B David Wright on the disabled list and needed help at the position.