For Nashville Sounds’ first baseman Hunter Morris, his 2013 experience in Triple A has been humbling.
But the transition from his native Huntsville to Nashville would have been more difficult without the family support he has in his hometown, including his wife and young son.
“I am very lucky and fortunate that I have got such a great support system,” Morris said. “They will support me in whatever is best for my career, here on out.”
The Auburn University alum is forced to make adjustments after a successful campaign where he earned the 2012 Southern League Most Valuable Player with the Double A Huntsville Stars.
“I think last year went to a little too smooth. I never really had to make any adjustments or work to change anything up until this season,” Morris stated as he reflected on his time with the Stars.
After belting a career high 28 home runs with 113 runs driven in for the Stars, the Milwaukee Brewers named him the organization’s Minor League Player of the Year in 2012.
In addition, he led the Southern League with 40 doubles and accrued a .357 On Base Percentage.
The left-handed batter was ten batting average percentage points shy from earning the Southern League Triple Crown.
Huntsville Manager Darnell Coles was one of the people instrumental in helping him make the transition from a mental perspective and for pointing him in the right direction.
“He kept me very humble and that was a point in my career where I could have gone either way,” Morris said.
Some of the wisdom Coles conveyed to him is helping him cope with a season beneath his personal expectations.
“It’s helped me keep my head on straight this season,” Morris stated.
Morris is batting .239 with 22 home runs and 61 runs batted in for the Sounds in 2013, and certainly is trying to improve.
Morris is one home run shy of tying for the Pacific Coast League lead with Memphis’ Brock Peterson and recently rode a nine-game hitting streak.
In the last ten games, he is batting .289 with three home runs and nine runs batted in.
“I think there is just a learning curve and some people take longer than others,” Morris said. “I had the mechanical stuff going on earlier this year and I got away from what made me successful last year.”
The 24-year-old is beginning to adjust to living life in Nashville compared to playing in his hometown last season.
“There will be times where you are hot and sometimes when you are cold,” Morris said. “But that is just part of baseball.”
Transition to the Major Leagues
As Morris is learning to accept the tough transition to Triple A, he fully acknowledges it will be much tougher if or when he receives the call from Milwaukee.
“Learning how to work and learning how to make adjustments,” Morris said. “The jump to the Majors isn’t going to be any easier.”
Despite the tough transition, Morris believes he is prepared from an endurance perspective due to playing an extensive amount of time in 2012 including a stint with the Arizona Fall League.
“I think in the long run the more playing time you get the better of you will be at when it comes time to play 162 games in the Majors compared to 140,” Morris said.
The support he has received from his wife and young son leaves him with hope the possible transition to Milwaukee can be an easy one.
“She understands the dedication that it takes among other family members in making sacrifices for me to continue doing something I love,” Morris said.