He is Mike Morgalis, and if you don’t know his name now, you may be asking for it in the Spring.
“Morgalis is the type of guy that you come to a ballpark and everybody’ll [want to] know his name. They’re going to be saying, ‘Who’s that kid?’” said Harvard coach Joe Walsh.
Frustrated with a lack of playing time, Morgalis transferred from Notre Dame to Harvard this fall. In search of another quality academic instution, Morgalis chose the Crimson over Ivy-rival Brown.
The transfer couldn’t have come at a better time for Harvard.
The Crimson’s top four starting pitchers from 2002 are all gone, three to graduation and the fourth—would-be-junior Marc Hordon—to a season-ending shoulder injury that forced him to withdraw from Harvard to maintain full eligibility.
Ben Crockett, the 2002 Ivy Co-Pitcher of the Year, is now a top prospect n the Colorado Rockies’ farm system.
When the team opens its season March 8, Morgalis will most likely have the unenviable role of filling Crockett’s cleats.
“If the season started tomorrow, I’d give Mike the ball,” Walsh said Tuesday.
It’s a move his teammates would be comfortable with.
“He’s a good—I wouldn’t say replacement for Benny—but he’s a great surprise,” said sophomore catcher Schuyler Mann. “We didn’t think we’d have someone who could fill the role we counted on Benny for.”
Morgalis shrugs off comparisons, but after recording no regular season action for the Fighting Irish last year, he relishes the opportunity to be an integral part of the team.
“To be honest, even to be compared to [Crockett] is a little far-fetched,” Morgalis said. “The whole reason I transferred was because I missed competing. If that means me pitching in the big games, I look forward to that challenge.”
At the conclusion of his first minor league season, Baseball America predicted that Crockett would be the first Rockie in his draft class to crack into the big leagues.
But ironically, some of Crockett’s former Harvard teammates may take on Nomar Garciaparra before he does.