With their 19th round pick in the 2019 MLB Draft the Braves took a toolsy prep outfielder from Texas in Kadon Morton. Morton had been a two sport star in Texas and was known to be a little raw, but he was the type of player with big upside that you give an overslot bonus to and hope that pro coaching and focusing on just one sport could get the most out of those tools.
Midseason Ranking: 30
FCL: 177 PA, .196/.328/.324, 10 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 14-17 SB, 25 BB, 62 K
What we saw in 2021
Morton began the year in the same place he ended 2019, the FCL, just before our midseason prospect list dropped. After getting off to a fast start with a .860 OPS through his first 17 games, things started to slow down significantly in the final week of July and through the rest of the season. Starting July 24th Morton had just a .514 OPS over his final 28 games, dropping that .860 OPS to .652 for the year. Still that was an improvement from the .529 mark he posted here in 2019.
What the future holds
Based on his struggles to adjust during the second half of the year, it is clear that Morton’s hit tool and approach are still in need of refinement. In spite of a fairly solid walk rate, the 60 strikeouts in 177 plate appearances are simply too high, and something that will need to be cleaned up going forward.
Morton, who doesn’t turn 21 until later this month, is still a young player and still one with the tools to become a significant prospect if he can improve his hit tool and approach. He is likely to move up to Low-A to start 2022 after repeating the FCL already, and his progress will be watched closely to determine what is next.