Jeffrey Hunter Morris
- Born 10/7/1988 (age 24)
- Hometown: Huntsville, AL
- Height: 6'2
- Weight: 200
- College: Auburn University
- Selected by the Brewers in the 4th round (129 overall) of the 2010 Amateur Draft
- Finished last year: AA Huntsville Stars
After an impressive career at Grissom High School where he hit .470 with 46 homers, Morris was selected in the second round of the 2007 Amateur Draft by the Boston Red Sox. Morris didn't sign with the Sox and decided to attend college at Auburn instead, where he continued to put up impressive numbers, winning SEC Freshman of the Year in 2008 and SEC Player of the Year in 2010. After being drafted by the Brewers, Morris has improved every year in the system and had his best year in 2012 for his hometown Hunstsville Stars, hitting .303 with 28 home runs and flirting with the Triple Crown on his way to winning Brewers Minor League Player of the Year and Southern League Player of the Year awards.
As a hitter, Morris has a pretty smooth lefty swing with some uppercut motion that can get a little long at times. He has good raw power and his hit tool has improved significantly since joining the Brewers organization, but his approach at the plate is best described as aggressive and he'll need to improve his plate discipline to be any more than an average regular. Despite good bat speed, he had struggled against lefty pitching in the minors and it's difficult to see that changing at the major-league level.
As a defender, Morris is a good athlete that moves well laterally and possesses an adequate throwing arm. An outfielder in high school, he had a tough time making the transition to first base and was error-prone early on in his minor league career, but cleaned up his mechanics in 2012 and now appears that he can be at least average at the position.
At this point, Morris' potential as a major leaguer isn't particularly high due to his approach and platoon issues, the most likely outcome being that he should able to carve out a role as a platoon player in the mold of Brandon Moss or Mitch Moreland. However, Morris has worked exceptionally hard to reach his current prospect status after being viewed as more of an organizational player early on, so if he continues to improve his game it's certainly possible that he could become an above-average regular.
Morris was likely going to begin the 2013 season with AAA Nashville, but the injury to backup first baseman Mat Gamel has thrown a wrench in that plan. With Gamel out for the season and starting first baseman Corey Hart set to miss the first month or two while recovering from knee surgery, Morris is now in the mix to be the starting first baseman on opening day, and assistant GM Gord Ash has already given Morris a vote of confidence. Considering his competition will likely be Bobby Corsby (who sucks), Taylor Green (who's not very good) and Alex Gonzalez (who's never played the position in a major-league game), Morris' chances are probably pretty good.