by Ray Kuhn
Let’s just get this out of the way: Logan Morrison will not replicate his 38 HR performance from 2017. It’s nothing against Morrison, who has proved to be a solid major leaguer (with marginal fantasy impact), and it doesn’t mean the Twins’ new addition doesn’t have fantasy value for 2018.
After hitting a combined 42 HR over the previous three seasons, Morrison exploded in 2017 and the metrics, per Baseball HQ, backed it up. With 100 being the baseline, his Power Index was 156 with an expected Power Index of 144.
The big, noticeable difference was his increase in fly balls. It represented a clear philosophical shift, as his fly balls went from 35% in 2016 to 46% last season trading ground balls for fly balls. It made him a more effective power hitter, and it also didn’t impact his AVG performance.
We must note that the bar is not very high in that department as Morrison is a career .246 hitter, so his .245 batting average is perfectly in line. Unless he can bring his contact rate back to its 2013-2015 levels, an average of 82%, then his upside will be limited. Last season he made contact just 71% of the time, and he struggled even more in the second half of the season; 74% compared to 67%.
Not only did his contact rate drop, but his home run output followed suit. After hitting 24 HR in the first half of the season, he hit just 14 in the second half.
He stayed healthy leading to a career high in RBI, as Morrison drove in 85 runs. Currently he is set to bat clean-up for the Twins in a lineup that can be considered up and coming. He also should be motivated after being virtually ignored on the free agent market and then being signed to a one year contract.
When it comes to players like Morrison who signed so late into the off-season, it is only useful to look at the recent ADP. With that being the case, since March 1st his ADP in the NFBC is 283 so he is still quite a bargain.
I have a hard time expecting much more than a batting average in the range of .240 to .250, and as long as you don’t look for another 38 HR season you should be in good shape. Instead, 25 to 30 HR with another 80 RBI is pretty good value in the 19th round.
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|Starting Pitchers||1-20: 03/24/18|