Former Maryland baseball catcher Justin Morris confirmed that he’ll sign a minor league contract Tuesday with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He’ll fly to Florida on Monday before making it official at the team’s Spring Training facility in Bradenton.
The Edgewater native made an announcement Friday morning via Twitter.
I want to thank the @Pirates for giving me an opportunity to play professional baseball. Truly a dream come true!
— Justin Morris (@Jus10_Morris) July 27, 2018
Morris will be the third undrafted Terp this offseason to ink a professional deal. Kevin Biondic signed a contract with Red Sox last month and has pitched in six games since for the Lowell Spinners. Taylor Bloom has thrown in four games this summer for the Washington Wild Things, a team in the Independent Frontier League.
Juniors Marty Costes and Nick Dunn both were drafted in early June, signing contracts with the Houston Astros and St. Louis Cardinals, respectively.
The catcher was drafted in the 35th round by the Arizona Diamondbacks out of DeMatha Catholic High School in 2014, but opted to come to College Park instead. He played in 129 games for the Terps, but wasn’t drafted again after his junior or seniors campaigns.
Morris’ bat got hot in time for Maryland’s 2017 postseason run, finishing with a career-high five home runs. Maryland played in the Winston-Salem Regional, earning one win against in-state foe UMBC. In the 16-2 victory, Morris went 1-for-4 with two runs, two RBIs and a homer.
During his senior year, Morris hit .208 with only one homer and 14 RBIs. Defensively, though, he was very solid and threw out a team-high nine runners on the bases. He’ll now be the fifth Terp from the 2018 roster to begin a professional career this summer.