- Full name Charles A. Morton
- Born 11/12/1983 in Flemington, NJ
- Profile Ht.: 6'5" / Wt.: 215 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Joel Barlow
- Debut 06/14/2008
Drafted in the 3rd round (95th overall) by the Atlanta Braves in 2002 (signed for $415,000).
View Draft ReportMorton isn't nearly as developed as Rosen, but his ceiling is considerably higher. The 6-foot-4, 180-pounder has an ideal pitcher's frame with long arms and the chance for above-average stuff. He throws a fastball at 87-90 mph now and may reach 94-95 one day because he has excellent arm speed. He has little feel for his craft right now, but he has command of a go-to breaking ball that should have a late, hard break with more work.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Morton has yet to have a winning season or post an ERA less than 4.54, but he may be ready to take his game to the next level and surge up this list. The lanky hurler showed a lot of progress when the Braves made him a full-time starter last July after alternating him between the rotation and long relief in the first half of the season. Morton displayed improved command of all of his pitches and wound up limiting opponents to three earned runs or less in nine of his last 11 starts. His best offering is an overhand curveball that appears to fall out of the sky. His fastball features good movement while residing in the low 90s. He continues to work on getting a feel for his changeup, which could develop into a solid-average pitch. More innings to work on his command and feel for his pitches is Morton's greatest need. He'll move up to high Class A this year.
Despite winning just three of his 15 decisions in his first two years in pro ball, Morton is making steady progress and developing into the type of pitcher the Braves thought he could become when they took him in the third round of the 2002 draft. The tall, lanky righthander's best pitch is a power overhand curveball that breaks straight down, making it nearly impossible to hit. His fastball resides in the 91-93 mph range, and his changeup has the makings of becoming a solid-average pitch. The Braves also like Morton's feel for pitching as well as his presence on the mound. Hailing from cold-weather Connecticut, Morton simply needs innings to work on his stuff and command. He'll get them in low Class A in 2004.
Minor League Top Prospects
Morton had little success in six previous seasons before breaking through in 2008. He didn't give up a home run in 12 starts, he kept the ball on the ground and he posted healthy strikeout and walk rates. In the majors, though, he developed soreness beneath his right shoulder blade that diminished his velocity, and he got hit around. The slender righthander also lost about 15 pounds during the season. Morton showed three average or better pitches that he's willing to use in any count. He pitches at 91-93 mph with his two-seam fastball and can go get 95-96 with his four-seamer when he needs it, even late in games. His hard-biting, power curveball is his out pitch, and he keeps both lefties and righties honest with his changeup.
James' emergence overshadowed Morton, but the Braves were impressed with his steady improvement. After posting a 6.04 ERA in his first eight starts, he had a 3.51 mark over his final six. Morton's fastball sat in the 90-93 mph range with solid movement. He also showed a good changeup to go with his best offering, a power overhand curveball that falls straight down as it crosses the plate. His command needs fine-tuning, which the Braves say will come with experience. "Charlie's a guy who just needs to pitch," McMullen said. "Give him a little time and he's going to start moving fast because everything is there."
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Pitching Prospect in the International League in 2008
- Rated Best Curveball in the Atlanta Braves in 2005
- Rated Best Curveball in the Atlanta Braves in 2004