The road to the pros was long and painful, especially for Andrew Morris’ mother, but the Monarch graduate’s push against the adversity paid off in the end.
On Monday, the Minnesota Twins selected Andrew — a righthanded pitcher — at No. 114 in the fourth round of the MLB Draft, solidifying a dream he’s reached for since a young age.
“It felt amazing. It didn’t even feel real. I still can’t believe it,” Andrew said. “It’s always been something that I’ve thought about and been trying to manifest for a really long time. I’ve written it down in so many journals over time. I think my mom has a bunch of them, and so we were talking about that (on Monday).”
Growing up, Andrew’s life circulated around the diamond, whether it was on the pitcher’s mound or in the batter’s box. From hitting cherry pits with a spoon by the river to practicing pitches with his mom, Tricia, in their backyard, baseball was always at the forefront of his mind.
It also, unfortunately, left a few marks on Tricia. She wasn’t the only casualty of his training.
“I was a stay-at-home mom so I got to be with him all the time, so I became his catcher,” she said. “As he got older, he started throwing harder and harder. I bought this catcher’s mitt, and it still hurt and stung my hands so I had to put a towel inside.
“I also didn’t have the gear, so I would have to kind of pad up a little bit with the jackets and such to make sure that when he threw the ball, and I missed catching it — because he was always very accurate, but my skill wasn’t as good — it wouldn’t sting as hard. And then, finally, it got to the point where he was throwing so hard, and then he put a hole in the shed, that I knew that he had to get somebody else to be his catcher for him.”
Throughout his life, Andrew was constantly on the move and was always the youngest kid in his class. That ever-changing landscape prepared him for whatever the game might throw at him as he witnessed the different levels of play from state to state.
That theme held true for the hurler when he graduated from Monarch in 2018 at age 16 to begin his collegiate career with Colorado Mesa. There, he saw his production on the mound flourish to the point where he could transfer to Division-I Texas Tech to complete his college ball days.
“It just came with age and maturity and time and me really just fully committing to it more, committing to the weight room, committing to the nutrition aspect of it,” Andrew said. “That allowed me to physically mature more and mentally at the same time. My last year at Mesa, everything kind of just clicked more. The (velocity) was better.”
In his two years with the Red Raiders, Andrew owned a 3.23 ERA and an 18-2 record through 175.2 innings. Now, he’ll turn his attention toward the minors as he hopes to improve those statistics even more in the next step of his career. He’ll have a strong support system behind him no matter what the road may bring.
“I was so excited for him and so thrilled that there was a team that saw his potential and made that dream a reality,” Tricia said. “I think that’s every mom’s wish, is to see their kiddos doing what they love. And in that moment, I’m like, ‘He got his first job! And his first job is as a professional baseball player! This is very cool.'”