Charlie Morton's ground ball rate

Dan Budreika took a look at Charlie Morton on RotoGraphs today. The portion that stuck out to me was this paragraph regarding Morton’s ground ball tendencies.

Morton’s strong ground ball rates have translated to the big leagues as well. During his rough go round in Atlanta he still had a 50% ground ball rate and last year in Pittsburgh it sat at 49%. It appears that he’s got the ability to have an above-average ground ball rate and possesses an average to slightly above-average ceiling on controlling his pitches within the strike zone in the big leagues.

I don’t think I had noticed that Morton has put up some solid ground ball rates in his career. A 50% rate would generally place a pitcher somewhere at the back end of the top 15 starters in baseball. That is an encouraging sign.

Combining good strikeout numbers and high ground ball rates is generally the mark of a top pitcher. Morton seems to have figured out how to keep the ball on the ground. However, while his stuff is nasty at times, he has posted pretty poor strikeout rates in the big leagues so far. Increasing those strikeout numbers will likely be the difference between him being a mid-rotation starter or possibly becoming something more.

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Author: Matt Bandi

Matt has covered the Pirates at Wait ‘Til Next Year, Pittsburgh Lumber Co. and now Pirates Prospects. He served as Pirates team expert for Heater Magazine in 2009 and 2010 and has contributed to Graphical Player 2009, 2010 and 2011. Matt was also the editor of the 2011 and 2012 Pirates Prospects Annuals.

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  • MarkInDallas

    Something that I noticed and posted about Morton’s K rate late this past season…It seems that if Morton can just get just 4 K’s in a start, he obtains wonderful results.

    Starts in which he got 4 K’s, he allowed 2,0,0,2,2,1,and 0 runs.

    If that can become a habit for him, his future looks very bright.