MILWAUKEE -- Prospect Hunter Morris' huge 2012 season netted yet another award on Monday, when he was named the Topps Southern League Player of the Year in a joint announcement by the baseball card company and Minor League Baseball.
Morris, 24, was also named the Southern League's MVP, the Brewers' Minor League Player of the Year and a Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner after batting .303 with 28 home runs and 113 RBIs in 136 games for Double-A Huntsville.
Morris, ranked by MLB.com as the Brewers' No. 7 prospect, led the Southern League in home runs, RBIs, hits (158), slugging percentage (.563), total bases (294) and extra-base hits (74), and ranked among the leaders in doubles (second, with 40), runs (tied for third, with 77) and batting average (fourth). His 40 doubles tied Huntsville's single-season record, held by D.T. Cromer (1997, when the Stars were an Oakland A's affiliate) and Corey Hart (2003).
Morris led all qualifying Southern League first basemen with a .995 fielding percentage while committing just six errors in 2012.
"This year it all seemed to come together. It clicked," Morris said in September. "Out of the 139 games we played, before about 130 of them, I was out for early work for nothing but defense. That was my biggest focus this year, and it made a huge difference. Being comfortable at first base on the defensive side of it took a lot of pressure off at the plate."
Morris, a 2010 fourth-round Draft pick out of Auburn University, is playing in the prospect-rich Arizona Fall League. He will probably begin next season at Triple-A Nashville, and he has a relatively clear path to the Major Leagues considering the contract of Hart, the incumbent first baseman, is up after 2013.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy.