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Stars' Morris finding the sweet spot
Brewers prospect extends homer streak with pair of blasts
07/08/2012 10:35 PM ET
Hunter Morris is hitting .314 with a .551 slugging percentage in 85 games.
Hunter Morris is hitting .314 with a .551 slugging percentage in 85 games. (Huntsville Stars)
When hitters get on a hot streak, they often talk about how much more relaxed they feel at the plate. If Hunter Morris' last few games are any indication, he must not have a care in the world.

The Brewers' No. 9 prospect extend his home run streak to three games with a pair of longballs Sunday, adding a triple and driving in four in Double-A Huntsville's 10-5 victory over Jacksonville.

In his last three games, Morris is 8-for-13 with four homers, two triples and eight RBIs.

"When you're staying within yourself at the plate, not trying to force things, it tends to get a little easier," he said. "Right now, I've simplified things. I can pick out the right pitches, focus on finding solid contact. The rest takes care of itself."

The 2010 fourth-round Draft pick added that, especially over the last week or so, his comfort level at the plate has allowed him to elevate his production. In eight games this month, he's hitting .469 while slugging 1.000.

"It's a different confidence level. You're not as worried about getting behind in counts, don't tend to be as aggressive. You just kind of let the at-bat come to you," Morris said. "It sounds like it'd be easy to do that day in and day out, but every player puts more pressure on himself one at-bat to the next, tries to do more than they should."

This season, Morris has also been able to redefine himself in a sense, batting .314 -- well beyond what he hit in 2011 with Class A Advanced Brevard County (.271) or in 2010 with Class A Wisconsin (.251).

"That's something I expect from myself," he said. "There's been a lot of adjustments to make in my swing, to learn how to use the whole field, go deeper into counts. Sometimes you have to go for the base hit and not try to hit it out of the park. You can find holes you weren't finding before."

It's also helped that he's drawn more walks and appears to be more selective. Last season, he had 4.72 strikeouts for every walk, a figure that's down to 3.36 this year. After posting .306 and .301 on-base percentages his first two seasons in the Minors, his OBP sits at .365.

His slugging percentage also has spiked, with a 54-point rise since the Fourth of July to .551.

Morris credited a lot of his improved production to that willingness to change his approach at the plate.

"You kind of get set in your ways over time," he said. "I don't know if it's a pride thing, where it's, 'Oh, I've been doing this my whole life, why would I change?' But you realize you have to make adjustments as you move up. I don't want to ever be satisfied with numbers or accomplishments. There's always improvements I can make."

T.J. Mittlestaedt also homered twice Sunday, while No. 9 Brewers prospect Kentrail Davis was 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs.

Jonathan Raymond is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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