Baseball America released their top 20 prospects from the 2010 Eastern League (scouting reports for subscribers here), and named Bryan Morris and Rudy Owens top prospects. Morris and Owens ranked 14th and 15th, respectively.
Morris missed ranking in the top 10 of Baseball America’s Florida State League rankings by 1.1 innings. Morris put up a 4.25 ERA in 89 innings in the Eastern League, with an 8.5 K/9, a 3.1 BB/9, and a 0.9 HR/9 ratio. Morris has a 92-94 MPH fastball, and two above-average breaking balls. Morris touches 96 along with mid-to-high 80s breaking balls in relief. Morris will remain a starter, and definitely has a shot at being a reliable starter in the majors, but if that fails he has a fall back as a potential closer option in the majors.
Owens, the minor league pitcher of the year for the Pirates, had a 2.46 ERA in 150 innings, with a 7.9 K/9, a 1.4 BB/9, and a 0.7 HR/9. Owens got his fastball up to 90-93 MPH later in the season, from 87-90 MPH last year and during the early parts of this year. Owens doesn’t have the stuff that Morris has, but his command and his pitch selection make him the prospect he is. Baseball America listed him as a back of the rotation starter. Optimistically, I think he could be a number three starter.
Once again, Jeff Locke was left off of the list, which isn’t as big of a deal in the Eastern League as the Florida State League. Locke had a 3.59 ERA in 57.2 innings, with an 8.7 K/9, a 1.9 BB/9, and an 0.8 HR/9 in the Eastern League this year.