Bradley Morton is a 6-2, 175-pound center fielder from Winston-Salem (N.C.) Mount Tabor. The three-sport standout is also a four-year starter behind center for the Spartans football team as well as starting the last two years for the basketball team. He is a Top 1,000 national prospect according to Perfect Game and is ranked No. 11 by Impact Baseball in the state of North Carolina. Morton competed with the South Charlotte Panthers during the summer for showcase baseball. His athletic achievements are equaled, if not exceeded, by his work in the classroom where he has a 4.4 grade point average as well as being a member of the National Honor Society.
“I first got recruited at the end of my sophomore year summer,” Morton said about the beginning of UNC's interest. “We were over in Cary playing [at the USA Baseball Complex] and Coach Jackson was there and seeing different players. He really spotted me out and started sending e-mails. It was a year-long recruiting process by North Carolina. Eventually I got the offer and I was very excited by that. I was very comfortable with Coach Jackson and I talked with them probably every week and emailed and would come and visit. Coach Forbes, I would talk with him some too. The comfort level was very high with them.”
Morton signed with North Carolina over scholarship offers from NC State, Coastal Carolina, College of Charleston, UNC-W, Appalachian State. In addition he had a football offer from Coastal Carolina as well as serious gridiron interest from NC State, Wake Forest, Navy, Furman and James Madison.
“I have been a fan ever since I was five or six years old and my dad had brought me to games, not just baseball but football and basketball also,” Morton said about his decision. “I just grew up as a UNC fan and ever since I stepped foot on the campus and took tours of the whole campus and school I just loved it. I know lots of people there and it is going to be a lot of fun and I can’t wait to be there. Academically they are one of the top colleges in the nation and that really helped to convince me to go there.”
Morton has great hands at the plate and will bat for average, while improving his power as he develops. He has high level speed both in the outfield and on the bases and has great instincts to stretch doubles into triples and steal bases. Defensively he has great footwork and an above average arm in the outfield. With playing three sports, Morton has a tremendous ceiling as a baseball player once he focuses solely on the diamond.
“Morton is a phenomenal athlete in my opinion, as far as a high school guy I would categorize him as kind of like a five-tool guy,” Mount Tabor coach Mike Lovelace said. “He can really, really run, very good hands at the plate. Above average arm in high school. He has been our starting center fielder for four years and he does not really get an opportunity to really work on the game like a lot of other people because he is a three-sport athlete. He is more like a natural who is able to pick up on things very, very quickly. I think with the right training and his focus on one sport - he has as much talent as anyone I have ever coached. He has a tremendous work ethic. He is the starting quarterback on the football team and starting guard on the basketball team. On his weekend time he is working on baseball - getting swings in the cage and throwing bullpens because he may pitch a little for us this year. He is an AB student with a 4.4 GPA. He is like a coaches dream as far as what he does.”
“He has a lot of power for his size,” South Charlotte Panthers coach Don Hutchins said. “He is not a huge kid at 6-2, 170 pounds, so he does not intimidate you size-wise, but he is as fast as any kid I have ever had. He is a 6.5 to 6.6 runner [in the 60 yard dash] ... I told him 'I expect you to steal 50 bases this summer' and he stole in two years 85 bases for me and did not get thrown out once and tore up more pairs of pants than any kid I had in the program. It turned out that his coach at school did not like taking his best player and putting him at risk on the bases and didn’t let him steal. He is smart, instinctive and aggressive - his speed will surprise some people because he is not one of those guys that looks fast but he has a good quick first step. It may take him a year to put himself at an elite level but I think that he will be an All-ACC kind of guy in his second or third year. He has not played a full year of baseball ever in his career.”
Because of his busy schedule Morton has gone a little under the radar for MLB scouting. “I have not had much contact,” he said. “I have been to a couple of workouts. I have worked out with the Braves MLB Scout and for the Royals.
"If I was drafted in the top ten rounds it would be awesome and I would have to talk about that with my family, but it would have to be somewhere in there. Later than that I would just stay with Carolina since I have wanted to go there since I was little.”
His goal for his collegiate career is clear: “I want to help UNC get back to Omaha in the College World Series and help them get there,” he elaborated. “I want us to get in the championship and win the College World Series for the fans. I want to have successful years there - I just want to help the team with whatever I can do but the ultimate goal is the College World Series.
"I want to major in accounting as I have always been good with numbers but if that does not work out then I always have wanted to do sports medicine. I am looking forward to determining which one I like more.”