Jan. 23, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Former Alabama pitchers Jimmy Nelson and Adam Morgan were selected as the fifth best prospect in their respective organizations by Baseball America. Both Nelson and Morgan are expected to get invitations to spring training with the Milwaukee Brewers and Philadelphia Phillies, respectively, in 2013.
Jimmy Nelson, who was a second round selection by the Brewers following the 2010 season, continues to make strides in the organization. Nelson finished his second full season in professional baseball in Huntsville, Ala., playing for the double-A Stars. He posted a 2-4 record in 10 starts in Huntsville, with a 3.91 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 46 innings.
Since being selected in the third round by the Phillies following the 2011 season, Adam Morgan continues to develop quickly in the minor leagues. In 2012, Morgan played his first full season of professional baseball and ended the year in double-A, playing for the Reading Phillies. In his six starts in Reading, Morgan had a 4-1 record with a 3.53 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 35.2 innings pitched. Morgan was the first pitcher selected by the Phillies in the 2011 MLB Draft.
Here is what Baseball America said about Jimmy Nelson
Scouting Report: An imposing figure on the mound, Nelson often overpowers hitters with a 92-94 mph fastball that he can run up to 96. He also throws an effective two-seamer in the low 90s that has good sink and induces weak groundouts. He has become more consistent with his sharp 84-86 mph slider, which he uses to shut down righthanders, and more confident with his fringy changeup. He also did a better job repeating his herky-jerky delivery last year until the shoulder fatigue set in. Nelson is a bulldog on the mound with a confident demeanor. The key to his development will be improving his control and command.
The Future: Nelson likely will return to Huntsville in 2013, at least for the start of the season. He projects as a No. 3 starter and could find himself in Milwaukee's rotation before 2014 is done.
Here is what Baseball America said Adam Morgan
Scouting Report: Morgan's stuff took a significant step forward in 2012. He did a better job of establishing his 91-94 mph fastball, especially on the inner half of the plate, making the rest of his arsenal more effective. His 81-84 mph sharp slider flashes plus potential and is more consistent than in the past, while managers rated his 78-80 mph changeup the FSL's best. He also throws a 76-78 mph show-me curveball. Morgan has above-average control. His smooth delivery, high three-quarters arm action, burrowing glove tuck, strike-throwing ability and competitiveness all evoke comparisons to Cliff Lee, though he doesn't quite have Lee's arsenal.
The Future: With the boost in stuff, Morgan profiles as a mid-rotation starter and possibly more, given the development of his secondary offerings. He could earn an aggressive assignment to Triple-A in 2013, though a brief return to Reading isn't out of the question.
ALABAMA'S CURRENT MINOR LEAGUE ROSTER
Player Pos. Team (League)
Vin DiFazio C Myrtle Beach Pelicans (A-Advanced, Carolina League (Rangers))
Matt Downs INF Signed Minor League contract with Miami (invite to spring training)
Taylor Dugas OF Staten Island Yankees (A, New York-Penn League (Yankees))
Ian Gardeck RHP Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (A, Northwest League (Giants))
Austin Hyatt RHP Reading Phillies (AA, Eastern League (Phillies))
Cale Iorg INF Toledo Mud Hens (AAA, International League (Tigers))
Nathan Kilcrease RHP West Virginia Power (A, South Atlantic League (Pirates))
Kent Matthes OF Tulsa Drillers (AA, Texas League (Rockies))
Adam Morgan LHP Reading Phillies (AA, Eastern League (Phillies)) (invite to spring training
Jimmy Nelson RHP Huntsville Stars (AA (Brewers)) – Invite to spring training for 2013
Greg Paiml INF Birmingham Barons (AA, Southern League (White Sox))
Jared Reaves INF Connecticut Tigers (A, New York-Penn League (Tigers))
Jason Townsend RHP Altoona Curve (AA, Eastern League (Pirates))
Tyler White RHP Lakeland Flying Tigers (A-Advanced, Florida State League (Tigers))
Ross Wilson INF Signed by the Miami Marlins organization in the offseason