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2023 Mets Draft profile: Kade Morris

With their third-round compensation selection in the 2023 draft for their failure to sign Brandon Sproat in 2022, the 101st overall pick, the Mets selected Kade Morris, a right-handed pitcher from the University of Nevada.

Kade Morris was born in Turlock, California and attended Pitman High School in his hometown, where he lettered three years in baseball. He batted a cumulative .222 average while posting a career 4.18 ERA in 57.0 innings. He went undrafted in the 2020 MLB Draft and went on to attend the University of Nevada, where he walked on to the baseball team as a relief pitcher. Morris appeared in 18 games for the Wolf Pack in his freshman year, posting a 7.71 ERA in 25.2 innings, allowing 34 hits, walking 13, and striking out 15. In his sophomore year in 2022, he appeared in 18 games, making 4 starts, and posted a 4.32 ERA in 66.2 innings, allowing 68 hits, walking 22, and striking out 53. That summer, he pitched for the Cotuit Kettleers of the Cape Cod Baseball League and was extremely successful, making four starts and posting a 1.08 ERA in 16.2 innings with 11 hits allowed, 6 walks, and 9 strikeouts.

He thought about transferring from Nevada for his junior season, entering the transfer portal and committing to Texas Christian University where former Nevada head coach TJ Bruce had been hired, but ultimately did not, returning to Nevada for his junior season and was transitioning from the bullpen to the Wolf Pack rotation as their Friday night starter. The right-hander started 14 games and logged a career-high 81.1 innings to modest success, posting a 5.42 ERA with 96 hits allowed, 27 walks, and 85 strikeouts.

Morris throws from a low-three-quarters arm slot and has a simple, repeatable delivery that utilizes a leg lift. The right-hander has a deep arsenal, anchored by a fastball that sits in the low-to-mid-90s, averaging 93 MPH and topping out in the mid-to-high-90s. He can throw a four-seam fastball and a two-seam fastball, but a lack of deception and a tendency to flatten out saps their effectiveness, especially when left in the zone. He complements his fastball with a low-to-mid-80s slider, a mid-70s curveball, and a high-70s-to-low-80s changeup. His breaking stuff has all been very inconsistent, with some scouts and evaluators preferring his slider and some preferring his changeup; his curveball is virtually universally agreed to be a change-of-pace offering. None of his secondary pitches have elite swing-and-miss, but the right-hander is effective with them by changing eye levels, mixing his wide arsenal, and getting batters to get themselves out or make weak contact.