Nick Morabito sees results in his process

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Athletes will often say that the process takes precedence over the outcome. Their prevailing idea is that adhering to their strategy will result in long-term success. It is a mindset that Nick Morabito, the New York Mets’ second-round draft pick in 2022, brings to the diamond before each game. His preparation and confidence help guide him into becoming one of the top hitters in Minor League Baseball this season and a player quickly rising through the organizational ranks.

Nick Morabito

“I think the process starts with how you carry yourself and how you go about each day, starting with the night before with how you sleep and then going through the correct routines, whether it is in the cage or in the field,” Morabito said. “There are certain hitting, fielding, and throwing routines that I do before a game, and I try not to change things. Mainly, I make sure I am prepared every day.”

As a high school selection, adjusting to professional baseball often seems daunting. Players face older or more seasoned competition, along with heightened expectations. Morabito’s initial challenge was adapting to the spin and break of pitches seen against the opposing pitcher and their consistent command of the strike zone. Morabito began to study their tendencies, and by the start of the 2024 season, he was leading the Florida State League with a .397 average and a 1.043 OPS with the St. Lucie Mets. 

“Much of hitting has to do with timing,” he said. “There is definitely a difference going from high school to professional baseball. Seeing this type of pitching every single day, you start to get used to the speed and the break on each pitch, and it helps you adjust over time. The biggest thing for me was building confidence with the work I was putting in and not just basing it on how I was playing.”

Morabito’s swift start and rapid improvement led to a May 5 promotion to the Class A-Advanced Brooklyn Cyclones in the South Atlantic League, where he maintained his confident approach and calm demeanor. The 21-year-old reached base safely in each of his first 10 games in Brooklyn. He leads Minor League Baseball with a .510 on-base percentage. He also displayed aggression on the basepaths, swiping 10 bases in a six-game series against the Bowling Green Hot Rods. His ability to focus on the moment helped him swiftly adapt to more advanced play in Brooklyn.

“Being able to be present and stay in the moment is one of the main things that you need in this game,” Morabito said. “If you get too ahead of yourself or too down on yourself thinking about your last at-bat or what you did in the field, then that thought will stay there. I think staying in the moment and forgetting about the past and future has definitely helped me since making the move up to High-A.”

Hitters that typically hit for a high average become adept at making contact on a routine basis and spraying the ball across the field. Morabito is no exception, driving the ball up the middle and the opposite way at virtually an equal clip with his pull side. His slightly bent stance from the right side helps him keep his bat on a level plane and move swiftly through the zone. Morabito also avoids chasing pitches off the plate and will draw walks at a high rate. 

“When I was younger, I started to work on hitting to all fields, and I think it is a strong asset to have as part of my game being able to hit to all fields,” he said. “I pride myself on the ability to be a well-rounded hitter in that regard since I can hit the ball anywhere on the field and make contact at a high rate. Being able to hit the ball wherever it is pitched helps build upon my strengths as a hitter and continue to develop in that area.”

Once Morabito reaches base, his goal shifts to getting himself into scoring position by using his speed and picking specific situations to swipe bases based on intuition or a pitcher’s delivery. His above-average running speed also proves impactful in the outfield, where the Mets organization utilizes him in all three outfield spots. Morabito will use his speed to close in on shallow line drives and cover ground with a quick first step and reaction. 

“Being able to know the pitcher’s time to the plate and the catcher’s pop time, and then adding up those numbers and comparing them to how fast you run down the line or steal a base, helps you become a more successful base stealer,” Morabito said. “In my mind, I want to steal every time I get on base. It is a goal of mine to advance a base and eventually score a run for our team.

“Timing with my pre-pitch steps and timing when the ball is actually hit helps with anticipation and reaction as an outfielder. That has helped me get my best jumps and best reads to the ball. Being able to time up the player hitting the ball and getting a good first step makes a huge difference playing the field.”

Maturity and natural instincts on the diamond come from a baseball upbringing where his father, Brian, played college baseball at James Madison, and his uncle, Chris, was a 36th-round draft pick by the White Sox in 1987 and spent a season playing professionally in the Gulf Coast League. Both strongly influenced Morabito and his younger brother, Chris, a freshman outfielder at Bucknell. They helped him with the mental aspects of the game and the challenges of managing success and failure over a long season. 

“My father and uncle are my backbone,” Morabito said. “For them to be able to go through this having played college and playing professionally has definitely helped me in terms of giving advice and my preparation along the way. For them to bring me up into this and allow me to do my thing, has meant everything to me.”

Morabito’s recent emergence as a blue-chip prospect in the Mets farm system is a harbinger of the development process in the minor leagues and a player who strives to use his approach to attain positive outcomes. Maintaining these techniques and expanding upon his foundational principles will help Morabito build upon his initial success this season and continue to be an asset during his tenure in Brooklyn.

“The biggest thing for me is to be able to stay healthy, play a full season, and keep doing what I have been doing, and take everything one step at a time,” he said. “Being able to go out there and look at it and see that I am playing the same game that I have been playing since I was a kid helps me continue to grow as a player and maintain the same mindset wherever I play.”

Video of Nick Morabito.
Gershon Rabinowitz
Gershon Rabinowitz
Gershon Rabinowitz is a reporter based in the New York market who has covered a variety of sporting events including the MLB draft, the 2016 World Baseball Classic, and Big Ten Hockey at Madison Square Garden. In 2013, he co-founded the website Baseball Essential and currently specializes in coverage of professional baseball and hockey.

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