Morton Coming A Long Way Already

TAMPA, FL - Listed at six-foot-three and 195 pounds, Taylor Morton stands even taller than that. The 19-year-old has a big frame but even bigger potential, leading the Yankees to draft him in the ninth round of the 2010 draft.

When it comes to power pitchers, height is always a good indicator of the fastball. Taylor Morton is no exception. During extended spring training, the righty has hit 95 miles-per-hour on the radar gun, but consistently throws about 92 mph. His heater is something his pitching coach Danny Borrell is confident in.

"Pretty much every time he's out there, he's controlling the fastball in the zone," Borell said. "You can't ask for anything more from an 18 or 19-year-old."

Although his fastball can be dominant, Morton and Borrell realize the importance of his offspeed repertoire. The development of this aspect of Morton's pitching was the main focus of his spring training.

"He came in with a really good changeup," Borrell said. "And we're just trying to get his slider more consistent."

To say Morton's slider has been inconsistent would be an understatement. It's not as though he has a set style of throwing it and can't locate it or generate deception. It's that there hasn't been any consistency in the grip or throwing motion as Morton continues to try and find one that clicks. Constant work with Borrell and the other pitching coaches has him thinking he might have found the one.

"I've tried a bunch of different grips, probably every grip you can with a slider," Morton said with a smile. "And I found one that works."

Out of Bartlett High School in Tennessee, he won numerous awards including a district tournament MVP award in 2010. He spent time behind the plate as a catcher in high school, but once drafted, the Yankees' designated him as a full-time pitcher. It didn't make much sense to have a someone with a 95 mile-per-hour fastball on the receiving end of pitches.

As Extended Spring Training is winding down, Morton said he's improved a lot, especially in standing tall on his back leg and not falling toward the plate. He's happy with his development so far, but is also honest in saying there's a long way to go for a pitcher right out of high school who signed too late to get any playing time in the Gulf Coast League.

"Being able to locate any pitch I want to in any count," Morton said is the ultimate goal.

Coach Borrell isn't shy when it comes to praising Morton.

"Taylor has come such a long way in such a short time," Borrell said. "He's a prototypical big body guy and obviously he has a really good arm and he throws quality strikes."

"For any young kid coming out of high school [the most important thing] is just getting experience in pro ball," he added. "He's gonna have a big future ahead of him."

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\r\n \r\n\r\nWhen it comes to power pitchers, height is always a good indicator of the fastball. Taylor Morton is no exception. During extended spring training, the righty has hit 95 miles-per-hour on the radar gun, but consistently throws about 92 mph. His heater is something his pitching coach Danny Borrell is confident in.
\r\n
\r\n\"Pretty much every time he's out there, he's controlling the fastball in the zone,\" Borell said. \"You can't ask for anything more from an 18 or 19-year-old.\"
\r\n\r\n
\r\nAlthough his fastball can be dominant, Morton and Borrell realize the importance of his offspeed repertoire. The development of this aspect of Morton's pitching was the main focus of his spring training.
\r\n
\r\n\"He came in with a really good changeup,\" Borrell said. \"And we're just trying to get his slider more consistent.\"
\r\n
\r\nTo say Morton's slider has been inconsistent would be an understatement. It's not as though he has a set style of throwing it and can't locate it or generate deception. It's that there hasn't been any consistency in the grip or throwing motion as Morton continues to try and find one that clicks. Constant work with Borrell and the other pitching coaches has him thinking he might have found the one.
\r\n
\r\n\"I've tried a bunch of different grips, probably every grip you can with a slider,\" Morton said with a smile. \"And I found one that works.\"
\r\n
\r\nOut of Bartlett High School in Tennessee, he won numerous awards including a district tournament MVP award in 2010. He spent time behind the plate as a catcher in high school, but once drafted, the Yankees' designated him as a full-time pitcher. It didn't make much sense to have a someone with a 95 mile-per-hour fastball on the receiving end of pitches.
\r\n
\r\nAs Extended Spring Training is winding down, Morton said he's improved a lot, especially in standing tall on his back leg and not falling toward the plate. He's happy with his development so far, but is also honest in saying there's a long way to go for a pitcher right out of high school who signed too late to get any playing time in the Gulf Coast League.
\r\n
\r\n\"Being able to locate any pitch I want to in any count,\" Morton said is the ultimate goal.
\r\n
\r\nCoach Borrell isn't shy when it comes to praising Morton.
\r\n
\r\n\"Taylor has come such a long way in such a short time,\" Borrell said. \"He's a prototypical big body guy and obviously he has a really good arm and he throws quality strikes.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"For any young kid coming out of high school [the most important thing] is just getting experience in pro ball,\" he added. \"He's gonna have a big future ahead of him.\"
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

Are you a monthly or 3-month subscriber to PinstripesPlus.com? Why not get two months free AND get 4 issues of our PinstripesPlus Magazine included by becoming an annual subscriber? Upgrade today to get the most out of your subscription.

\r\n

\r\n

Become an annual subscriber today!

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