Orioles select local product Morris

Taken in 32nd round, Maryland prep right-hander recovering from Tommy John surgery

Orioles select local product Morris

BALTIMORE -- A few weeks ago, Cody Morris was at Camden Yards, spectating at the Brooks Robinson All-Star Game.

On Wednesday, Morris took one small step closer to becoming an Oriole as the right-hander was selected in the 32nd round of the Draft.

Morris, who was the 973rd overall pick, may not be such a long shot. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound pitcher was projected by MLB.com's Draft experts earlier this year to go in the top few rounds, but his stock dropped when he suffered an ulnar collateral ligament tear in his pitching arm and underwent Tommy John surgery.

The procedure happened May 27, according to his Twitter page, and Morris took to his account the following day to post: "Thanks everyone for the get well wishes... My surgery went well and I'm on the road to recovery!"

As the ace of Reservoir High School in Fulton, Md., Morris is also a local product, something the Orioles have tried to incorporate more under executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette. Morris is committed to attend the University of South Carolina.

"He's a promising young prospect," scouting director Gary Rajsich said of Morris. "We wanted to do that whether or not it was a courtesy draft. We haven't talked to him so we don't know where he is at. We know he really wants to go to South Carolina, but until we start talking to him, we just did that on our own because we wanted to recognize the fact that he was a local kid, he is a prospect, he is a promising young pitcher.

"I think last summer we saw him up to 94 mph with a good curveball. Whether or not we can do anything with him now, we just wanted to acknowledge the fact that we knew he was right in our backyard if he changes his mind. Who knows?"

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.