A pair of Turlock natives have been named as some of the top prospects in this summer’s MLB Draft.
On Tuesday morning, Turlock High alum Cole Carrigg and Pitman High alum Kade Morris were both named top 150 draft prospect by MLB Pipeline, MLB.com’s official prospect blog.
Carrigg, an outfielder, shortstop and catcher at San Diego State, has been listed as the 45th ranked draft prospect, projecting him to be a second-round pick in July’s MLB Draft. Meanwhile, Morris, a right-handed pitcher at the University of Nevada, has been ranked as the 140th draft prospect in 2023, projecting him to be a fifth-round selection.
In his three years as an Aztec, Carrigg has been an everyday starter, mostly playing center field. Thus far in his junior season, the switch-hitter has slashed .343/ .402/ .546 with 37 hits, two home runs, eight walks and 22 RBI in 108 at-bats across 30 games. The speedster has also stolen 11 bases on the year.
The 20-year-old particularly made significant waves across the college landscape last season when he slashed .388/ .426/ .509 with 83 hits, 12 walks, three home runs and 40 RBI in 214 at-bats across 54 games, earning him First-Team All-Mountain West honors.
“Carrigg is a particularly intriguing prospect due to his athleticism and defensive flexibility to go along with his feel to hit,” MLB.com’s scouting report said. “The switch-hitter tends to be a bit more in sync from the right side, but he shows an innate ability to make contact from both sides of the plate.
“A plus runner who can steal a base, Carrigg has shown ability at three up-the-middle positions. He’s natural in center field and has shown he can play a solid shortstop as well. But many scouts agree that his best value might come behind the plate, as a switch-hitting backstop whose plus arm and athleticism play well, though he’s played the outfield exclusively in 2023. Even so, his athleticism and feel to hit still have him in early-round conversations.”
In Nevada, Morris, also in his junior year, has a 3-5 record in 11 starts, posting a 5.48 ERA while striking out 67 and walking 20. They aren’t the most dominant numbers, but scouts believe that the 20-year-old can still go a long way in his development.
“Lean and slender, Morris has decent now stuff and, with the ability to add some strength, could throw harder in the future,” MLB.com described the 6-foot-3, 170-pounder in his official prospect analysis.
His sophomore season last year already showed scouts flashes of what Morris could become, as he went 7-5 with three saves in 18 appearances. Most of his appearances came out of the bullpen, but four strong starts to end the year earned him a spot at the top of the Wolf Pack rotation. By year’s end, he had 4.32 ERA with 53 strikeouts and 22 walks in 66 2/3 innings. He was also named to the All-Mountain West Second Team.
Morris has a fastball sitting in the low-90s, a mid-80s slider, a mid 70s curveball described as “decent” and a changeup touching the high-80s, making it his most useful weapon at the college level.
If selected, Morris would be the third ballplayer in the history of Pitman High School to be drafted, joining Colin Kaepernick (Round 43, Chicago Cubs) and Bradin Hagens (Round 6, Arizona Diamondbacks), who were both selected in the 2009 MLB Draft.
As for Carrigg, getting drafted would continue a long history of Bulldogs playing in the pros. In Turlock High School’s 106-year history, he would be the 27th Bulldog to get drafted. Andy Owen was the most recent Bulldog to get drafted (Round 14, Texas Rangers) in 2022.
The 2023 MLB Draft is scheduled to take place July 9-11 as part of All-Star weekend festivities in Seattle.