38-year-old Charlie Morton was born in Flemington, New Jersey, on November 12, 1983, to Jeanne and Chip Morton, a former Penn State basketball player and an accountant. His granddad was a Philadelphia Athletics minor league baseball player.
He grew up in Trumbull, Connecticut, where he played little league baseball with pitcher Craig Breslow and infielder Jamie D’Antona, both of whom went on to major league baseball.
Morton’s arsenal in 2013 included a four-seam fastball, a sinker, a curveball, and a split-finger fastball, with a top speed in the low 90s. Morton, who had previously thrown a changeup, switched to the splitter in 2011.
He’s also thrown a slider and a cutter in the past. Morton’s sinker was his most often used pitch, particularly against right-handed batters. In a two-strike count, his curveball was his most regular pitch.
Morton began experimenting with throwing harder in the 2015 offseason, as well as making improvements to his mechanics and training. He showed off his increased velocity in his injury-shortened outings with the Phillies.
This, combined with his high spin rates, drew the attention of Houston’s general management, who signed him and urged him to keep throwing hard four-seam fastballs, as his sinker was becoming ineffective.