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Tanner Morris Putting in the Work at Third Base

Tanner Morris Putting in the Work at Third Base

May 9, 2022

Photo credit: MLB Pipeline

Infielder Tanner Morris has entered the 2022 season stronger and better than ever. Morris, who went into the 2021 off-season with strength and conditioning on his mind is happy with his results so far.

“My physicality has always been the thing that has lagged for me in pro ball,” explained Morris. “So, I spent the majority of my off-season at the new complex that the Blue Jays’ built in Florida. I worked with our strength coaches a lot. We focused on leg strength, stability, and weight gain. I’m 20 pounds heavier. Most seasons since high school, I’ve lost 10 to 15 pounds throughout the year, and so far this year I’ve been able to maintain the weight. I’m focused on better nutrition, not skipping meals, and sleeping in. That, and the strength program of the Blue Jays’ has really helped me, as I’m stronger and I’ve added muscle mass since I was drafted.”

And his off-season preparation is showing in the early stages of the 2022 season, as Morris is slashing .312/.448/.494 with an OPS of .942 after 77 at-bats for Double-A New Hampshire.

Finding success with his plate approach, Morris feels he has more extra base power since turning pro.

“My approach has developed over time,” said Morris. “I’m learning when to take my chances in counts. I’m using game planning bits off the pitchers and trying to sequence what the pitcher and catcher are going to do. Being able to take chances and attempt to drive the ball for home runs and doubles has increased.”

Another thing that has increased for Morris since turning pro is his playing time at third base.

Morris, who grew up playing second base and shortstop has found the transition over to third challenging so far.

“It’s been very difficult. It’s something that I’m still adjusting to,” stated Morris. “The angle is different. The speed of the ball coming off of the bat is typically harder and you get a lot of chop balls, so you have to make quick decisions at third base whether to charge or drop step. It has not been an easy transition for me. It’s probably the position I need to get better at among the three infield spots I play. It’s an emphasis of my early work. Fielding balls at third base, getting comfortable with drop steps, and just getting better at the position.”

And even though, Morris is primarily playing at third base these days, the prospect enjoys the opportunity to play at second base or shortstop as needed.

“I played second base until I was about 13 years old. And then at 13 or 14 I moved over to shortstop and started playing more games at shortstop,” said Morris. “I’ve been playing both of those positions for a long time, so just the comfort level, and the amount of reps and time that I’ve spent at those positions make it easier for me.”

Be sure to follow Tanner Morris, as he continues to get stronger physically and at third base.