Patrick Morris, a 2017 Steinbrenner High School graduate, has inked a professional baseball contract with the Toronto Blue Jays, netting a signing bonus of $206,500.
Shortly after agreeing to terms, Morris was assigned to the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays in Dunedin, the club’s rookie-level minor league affiliate.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound power-hitting left-handed first baseman was drafted by Toronto in the 14th round of last month’s MLB Draft — the primary mechanism for assigning amateur baseball players, from high schools, colleges, and other amateur baseball clubs.
Morris was ranked by Baseball America as the the state’s 89th best draft prospect.
Over the past two seasons at Steinbrenner, he displayed extra-base and home run power, tallying eight home runs, 17 doubles and 43 RBIs cumulatively. Also a solid pitcher, he posted a career 2.71 ERA, with 82 strikeouts in 95.2 innings.
Besides Morris, other draft picks from The Laker/Lutz News coverage area who have signed pro baseball contracts include: Nate Pearson (Odessa/Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School/Florida International University/College of Central Florida), who signed with the Toronto Blue Jays; Kevin Merrell (Steinbrenner High School/University of South Florida), who signed with the Oakland Athletics; and, Josh Falk (Steinbrenner High School/Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School/University of Pittsburgh), who signed with the Oakland Athletics.