Cody Morris Realizing His Full Potential

By Nathan Rode
National Supervisor

Cody MorrisRHP Cody Morris (Reservoir HS, MD) was a freshman when he hit 90 mph for the first time. He didn’t know what it meant or what his future held.

“I just kind of thought it was cool,” he said.

He hit 91 that summer and colleges started making offers. Morris realized that this pitching thing might afford him a good opportunity. However, he still didn’t know the full potential. He didn’t give professional baseball any thought until the fall of his junior year, a couple months after he verbally committed to South Carolina. Then, an advisor contacted his family.

“It might be getting a little more serious than I thought,” Morris recalled thinking.

Morris, standing at a strong 6-foot-5, 205 pounds, is heading into his senior season as the top prospect in Maryland’s 2015 class, possessing a fastball that sits in the low 90s and developing secondary stuff. He has hosted more than half of the major league organizations for home visits during the offseason and faces the challenge of staying on an even keel throughout the process. It can be overwhelming for young athletes going through the draft and recruiting processes, but Morris has had plenty of resources along the way. He traveled with the Evoshield Canes in the summer and fall and his teammates are all experiencing the same thing.

“It’s one of those things you have to experience, get through a couple and then know what to expect and how to handle them,” Morris said. “I would talk to one of my friends or any of the kids on the Canes and ask them ‘what are your strategies, what do you do or how do you handle it?’ It made it a lot easier and not so much of a whirlwind to go through it with some of my good buddies and kids that are in a similar positions as me.”

His high school coach, Adam Leader, probably thinks it has something to with his personality, lauding him for him his modesty.

“He’s a down-to-earth type of kid,” Leader said. “Without the baseball aspect, he’s still a phenomenal kid. He easily could be a kid walking down the hall like he’s the man. He’s not that at all. Except for being 6-foot-5 and big, you wouldn’t be able to pick him out of a crowd. He’s just very humble.”

Playing with the Canes gave Morris several opportunities to play against some of the country’s top players and travel the country, but he cherishes his high school team’s 2014 season the most as they brought home the Maryland 3-A state title. The semifinal game was on a Tuesday with the championship scheduled for Saturday. Leader knew Reservoir’s best chance to win was with Morris on the mound, but he also didn’t want to endanger his player’s health. So they put a plan into place.

“What we decided, his max innings was going to be four and hopefully we had the lead,” Leader said. “If we didn’t, he would just continue going.”

After four innings of work, Morris walked off the mound with a 5-0 lead so a reliever came in for the fifth. Reservoir’s opponent, Governor Johnson HS, immediately put up four runs to cut the deficit to one. Morris was simply shifted over to first base in case he needed to take the mound again.

“When I came out—we had three kids that were also pitching for the team that were really good,” Morris said. “The kid we brought in actually had a lower ERA than I did. He had given up maybe one or two runs all season. So I thought he could handle it. He didn’t throw badly at all. We made a couple mistakes. We panicked a little bit, but ended up getting out of it.”

Reservoir answered with six runs of its own the next inning on the way to a 12-4 win that put the Gators in the final against North Hartford HS. Having thrown a minimal amount of pitches, Morris was set to toe the rubber again on Saturday. He went the distance, giving up just two hits and two walks in a 2-0 win. He threw just 85 pitches, struck out 11 and retired 11 in a row at one point.

“I didn’t sleep the night before at all,” Morris said. “It was adrenaline like no other. I’ve never felt that before. I’ve pitched in some big games, big atmospheres, but there’s nothing like doing it for your high school with a bunch of local kids and when a lot more pressure is on you. It was a great experience. That’s the best experience I’ve had. Winning a state championship is the memory that means the most to me.”

The Gators head into 2015 with a chance at defending their title. They lost a few key pieces on offense, but the entire pitching staff is back. When their ace takes the hill, the crowd be noticeably larger behind the plate.

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