Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Dodgers Pick Pitcher Morgan Cooper in the Second Round - Welcome to the Blue!

With the Dodgers second pick of the day, 62nd overall in the 2nd round yesterday, the Dodgers select right-handed University of Texas pitcher Morgan Cooper. Unsurprisingly, Cooper had Tommy John surgery in 2014 (the Dodgers have not been afraid to draft these players) and missed all of following season. He was also drafted last year by the Nationals in the 34th round, but did not sign. Furthermore, I am not aware of any cards made of him, but I will continue to look. Per a Dodgers press release:
In the second round, Los Angeles selected 22-year-old University of Texas right-handed pitcher Morgan Cooper. As a redshirt junior in 2017, he posted a 6-3 record in 16 games (15 starts) while recording a 2.32 ERA (23 ER/89.1 IP) and holding the opposition to a .208 batting average. Rated as the 80th overall pitching prospect by Baseball America, he led the Longhorns in starts (15), strikeouts (110) and strikeouts per nine innings (11.1) this season. The Jarrell, Texas native was named to the 2017 Collegiate Baseball All-America Third team and is a semifinalist for the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound pitcher was scouted by Dodgers’ scout Clint Bowers.

“Morgan is what you would expect from a Texas right-handed pitcher. He is big, he is strong and at 6-foot-5, 220 pounds, he is very competitive and we loved his mean streak on the mound. He has a mid-90s fastball and has two breaking pitches that we think can be potential plus pitches. We really liked the physical package a lot and given his experience at the University of Texas, we expect him to hit the ground running fast. We have big expectations for Morgan and we see a lot of qualities of a starting pitcher in him.” said Gasparino. 
I love the "MEAN STREAK" comment above. You can follow Morgan on twitter here: @mojaycoop, and check out what he wrote last night below:
BTW, below is a little video about Morgan called, "A Day in the Life of Morgan Cooper" from April.

Video Link:

John Sickels at Minor League ball said this about Morgan, per his report in June:
Coming back for his junior season was the right thing to do, as Cooper’s stock has soared this spring. He has a stereotypical “big guy from Texas” fastball at 91-96 MPH, and he commands the fastball well.

He’s not just a fastball pitcher, able to mix in a curve, cutter/slider, and change-up. The curveball was his best pitch as a freshman but since the injury he’s done good work developing his other two pitches, giving him four quality options. He usually throws strikes and has the complete arsenal needed to start in the majors. His makeup is also considered a strong positive.
Per MLB's prospect report:
Scouting grades: Fastball: 55 | Curveball: 50 | Cutter: 50 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 50 | Overall: 45
Cooper pitched through pain in his final two years at Jarrell (Texas) High and as a freshman at Texas before his elbow gave out, leading to Tommy John surgery in the fall of 2014. He returned as a redshirt sophomore in 2016, capping his comeback with his first college complete game in the Big 12 Conference tournament before turning down the Nationals as a 34th-round pick. His stuff has bounced back further this spring, when he has been the Longhorns' most effective starter.

At his best, Cooper can deal at 92-94 mph and reach 96 with his fastball. He uses his size and an overhand delivery to generate steep downhill plane, helping his heater induce swings and misses as well as groundballs. He still has to prove he can maintain his velocity over a full schedule because it has dipped in the second half of the last two college seasons.

While Cooper's secondary pitches all can grade above-average at times, his changeup is more consistent than his curveball and cutter. He has a sound delivery and arm action, though his control hasn't been as sharp this year as it has been in the past.
Below are more links focused on the newest Dodger:
"He has an active fastball and two breaking balls now that we think are potential plus pitches. We like the package a lot," said Gasparino. "He has a lot of starter qualities and we feel confident he'll be a starter."
In honor of his selection by the Dodgers I decided to make a couple fantasy Baseball cards of him.  For the card on the left I used a couple photos taken from Hookem.com and the 1984 Topps Baseball card design.  For the card on the right I grabbed a photo taken from MLB.com and the 1982 Topps Baseball card design.

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

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