IOWA CITY, Iowa - Earlier this season, I was fortunate enough to watch Iowa City West High and future University of Iowa pitcher Marcus Morgan toss several impressive innings. Thursday night, I took in four frames thrown by his future Hawkeye teammate, Ankeny right-hander Brody Brecht, against Waukee in the Class 4A State Baseball Tournament here at Banks Field.
This dynamic due should boost the Iowa staff tremendously.
Brecht (6-4, 210) came out throwing heat in Thursday's first inning. He was sitting 94-96 miles per hour and topped out at 97, according to the Banks Field radar. He needed only 12 pitches to get through the frame, mixing in a low-80s slider he located well.
In the second inning, Brecht kept his fastball in the 93-95 range but he began losing the strike zone with that and his breaking ball. A couple of close calls went against him and he started pressing to be more perfect. Some of his mechanics broke down with him falling off after his release. Even with that, he delivered key pitches when he needed them and induced a ground-ball double-play to end the frame.
The control issues followed Brecht into the third inning. He yielded his first run and loaded the bases with one out. Another double-play grounder got him out of the inning with the score tied at 1-1.
Brecht recaptured some his lost control in the fourth inning. He worked around a leadoff walk to keep Waukee off the scoreboard.
Then I left. I was hot and hungry.
Brecht didn't have his best stuff on Thursday, particularly from a control and command standpoint, but he battled through it, which is a great sign. He also generated consistent mid-90s heat from a relatively low-effort delivery.
As I said earlier, his mechanics left him at times and he'll need to work on repeating his delivery and staying on top. That's not unusual for a young pitcher.
The fastball showed movement and the slider was tight when at its best. He's far from his ceiling, and that's pretty high.
Here's a look at most his pitches through four innings: