Former Cal Pitcher Brandon Morrow to Play for the Seattle Mariners
April 2, 2007
SEATTLE, WASH. - Former University of California right-hander Brandon Morrow, who became the highest draft pick in Golden Bear baseball history when he was selected in the first round, and the fifth pick overall, by the Seattle Mariners during the 2006 Major League Draft, has made the Mariners' opening day roster after only 10 months in professional baseball.
Morrow, a 6-3, 190-pound 22-year-old from Rohnert Park, Calif., only pitched in eight minor league games last summer, throwing in seven contests for the AZL Mariners of the Rookie League (13 strikeouts in 13.0 innings, 2.77 ERA) and one game Inland Empire 66ers in the California League (four strikeouts in 3.0 innings). He joins the Major League Mariners after an impressive spring training, in which in the first part of March he only allowed two hits in 6.1 scoreless innings with two walks and eight strikeouts. Morrow could help Seattle as either a starter, or out of the bullpen.
Morrow heads the Cal list of professional baseball draftees that includes shortstop/outfielder Ted Parks, who was the 16th pick overall by the Baltimore Orioles in 1966, the second year of the Major League Amateur Draft, and Conor Jackson, who was 19th pick overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2003. Morrow joins former Cal players Jackson, Jeff Kent (Los Angeles Dodgers), Geoff Blum (San Diego Padres) and Xavier Nady (Pittsburgh Pirates) who are on opening day rosters for the 2007 Major League season.
Named first-team All-Pac-10 last season, Morrow was also one of 10 semifinalists for the Roger Clemens Award as the nation's top collegiate pitcher. He had an outstanding 2006 season, owning a 7-4 record and was second in the Pac-10 with a 2.05 ERA. He also was sixth in the conference with 97 strikeouts (10th on Cal's single-season strikeout list) in 96.7 innings (10th in the Pac-10), and opponents batted .211 against him (third in the Pac-10). Morrow had complete games at UNLV and Stanford, and only allowed 39 walks and 72 hits in his 96.7 innings. He notched wins over UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, UNLV, Pacific, Washington, Arizona and Washington State.
Morrow was selected the National Pitcher of the Week by Collegiate Baseball and Rosenblatt.com when he allowed no hits in 6.3 innings with 12 strikeouts and only one walk in the Feb. 3, 2006 season-opener at UC Irvine. A hard-throwing right-hander with a fastball in the high 90s, Morrow was selected a third-team preseason All-American after an outstanding 2005 summer in the prestigious Cape Cod League. He was a Cape Cod League All-Star for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, striking out 24 batters in 14.7 innings with a 1.84 ERA and three saves. Morrow was also picked as the fifth-best professional prospect out of the Cape Cod League by Baseball America.