The Pittsburgh Pirates are signing catcher Justin Morris as a non-drafted free agent. He attended the University of Maryland for four seasons after he was drafted in the 35th round out of high school. He was actually highly regarded as a catching prospect out of high school, getting offers to sign in the top ten rounds from multiple teams. Morris decided to attend Maryland, where his older brother played at the time. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2015, so they spent just one season together.
Morris is a 22-year-old lefty hitter. He put up big numbers in high school, which never carried over to college ball. In four seasons, he had a .190/.297/.293 slash line in 156 games. His best season was his junior year when he had a .679 OPS. Morris also played four years of collegiate summer ball in the Cal Ripken League, where he hit .262/.392/.396 in 93 total games. According to multiple scouting reports, he gets pull happy at times, doesn’t hit for much power despite being 6’2″, 215 pounds, and he has some holes in his swing.
As you might expect with those stats and that scouting report, he’s a very strong defensive catcher with an above average arm.
He has been playing for the Falls Church Mustangs of the Northern Virginia Industrial Baseball League since college ended, so he should be able to step right into action. Morris is reporting to Pirate City on Monday and will sign on Tuesday. No word yet on where he will play, but it could be the GCL, since they are down to two healthy catchers.