By Tommy Rancel //
Although he has the size (6’3″/235) and he plays the positions (first base and corner outfield), Logan Morrison‘s game does not match his size. Still, that hasn’t stopped Morrison from being rated as a top-20 prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America for the past two years.
Morrison, 23, spent most of his minor league career as a first baseman. However, with Gaby Sanchez‘s solid play at first and Chris Coghlan‘s injury leaving a void in left field, Morrison has found a new home with the Marlins – at least temporarily. While his defensive responsibilities have shifted, Morrison is still doing what he does best – hit and get on base.
The Marlins rookie is hitting .310/.427/.492 in 225 plate appearances since getting called up from the minor leagues. With that said, his .310 batting average is largely fueled by an unsustainable .378 BABIP (batting average on balls in play), and he is not likely to carry a .919 OPS over 600 a full season. However, don’t mistake this hot start as just a fluke.
In more than 1900 minor league at-bats, Morrison hit .292/.383/.465. That’s a far cry from his current slash line, but still above-average. As mentioned, Morrison has the look of a hulk-smashing home run hitter, but that’s not a major part of his game – at least not yet. On the other hand, he has shown some solid doubles power, including 38 in 130 games at A-ball in 2008.
Currently, Morrison has a .182 ISO (Isolated Power – slugging percentage minus batting average) despite having just two major league home runs. Lacking the power to put the ball over the wall, he is simply spraying it all over the field. He has already racked up 18 doubles and five triples this year.
In addition to the gap power, Morrison is showing a very good batting eye, with a 16% walk rate. He is striking out 19.8% of the time, but his 20.7% O-Swing (swings at pitches outside of the strike zone) and 6.5% swinging strike percentage show further signs of a solid batting eye.
Because of his extra-base hits and the favorable walk rate, Morrison has already scored 36 runs despite playing in just 48 games.
While his red-hot slash line is not likely to be reproduced in the near future, Morrison looks ready for an everyday spot in the Marlins lineup next season. Whether it comes as a first baseman or an outfielder is unknown. But don’t let that stop you from picking him up right now in NL-only and mixed keeper leagues.
For more on Logan Morrison and potential NL keepers, check out Bloomberg Sports’ Fantasy Kits