The Pittsburgh Pirates had a dream run last season, as they finally ended their 20-year playoff drought. The offense was led by National League MVP Andrew McCutchen and the power hitting of 3B Pedro Alvarez, but the team’s pitching staff was extremely successful as well.
Among all of the team’s arms, the most underrated fantasy baseball pitcher down the stretch last season was SP Charlie Morton.
Morton missed several weeks in the beginning of the season while he was recovering from Tommy John Surgery on his throwing elbow. As a result, fantasy owners wrote off the veteran and allowed him to go undrafted in nearly every fantasy format.
However, the veteran looked magical upon his return. Morton only pitched 20 games in 2013, but he was able to finish with a respectable 7-4 record and a respectable 3.75 ERA. Even more impressive, Morton posted a 6-2 record with a sizzling 3.28 ERA after the All-Star break. These are exceptional numbers for a guy that was sitting on the waiver wire for the majority of the year.
Morton has a very similar delivery and pitch repertoire to nine-time All-Star pitcher, Roy Halladay, so much so that the right-hander has even earned the nickname Doc Halladay Jr. Both pitchers love to rely on their fastball but have very deceptive breaking pitches as well. Not a bad comparison for a relative unknown fantasy hurler.
Morton is worth grabbing as a SP6 or SP7 in deeper fantasy formats. He can easily put up SP5 numbers this year, but it would be safer to grab him as a reserve pitcher this spring.