On The Hunt

Other than Georgia’s trio of Matt Wieters, Josh Smoker and Jason Heyward, the Deep South doesn’t have much to offer in the way of high-end talent for this year’s draft.

Alabama’s crop suffered a blow recently. Hunter Morris saw his 2007 season and high school career come to an end last week, not only because Grissom High in Huntsville, Ala., lost in the state quarterfinals, but he broke his fifth metacarpal while taking a swing. Morris had surgery last Thursday but his father says that Hunter was expected to be back swining a bat in time to work out for teams leading up to the draft, making it perhaps just a two-week turnaround.

“Instead of throwing a cast on it, they opted to go in and put in a double titanium plate,” Jeff Morris, Hunter’s father, said.

Morris hit .476 with 13 home runs during his senior season. However, his stats look skewed with 51 hits and 67 runs. He broke the state record for walks in a season with 59. The previous record was 54, held by Jeremy Brown, who went on to play at the University of Alabama before being drafted by the Athletics in the supplemental round in 2002.

Morris has committed to Auburn, and was considered a difficult sign before the injury, making his ability to participate in workouts all the more important between now and the draft.

He has plus raw power but is well below-average defensively and likely limited to first base as a professional.