Colorado Rockies: What impact could Logan Morrison have?
Many local and national outlets (including Rox Pile) believe that the Colorado Rockies still need to add a bat in the offseason to shore up their lineup and give them the best chance at contending with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the National League West crown. Among those outlets is ESPN, which continues to bang the drum for the Rockies to sign free agent Logan Morrison to take over first base.
This latest article from ESPN is one of several where Morrison has been tabbed as a good fit for the Rockies. In it, the Rockies are said to be “the best bet” for Morrison. Today, let’s take a look at what the 30-year-old slugger would bring to the Rockies.
First and foremost, Morrison would give the Rockies a power-hitting left-hander in the lineup. With Tampa Bay last season, Morrison blasted a career-high 38 home runs while driving in 85 RBI. He also posted a slash line of .246/.353/.516, all above his career averages.
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So was last year a fluke? After all, Morrison’s career high in homers before last season was 23 with the Florida Marlins in 2011 and he has hit no more than 17 in the five seasons between 2012-2016. Possibly, but the change in Morrison’s stat line can also be attributed to his focus on launch angle. In this article, Morrison talked about his change in attitude at the plate and thinking more about hitting fly balls. The thought process paid off as his fly ball rate jumped from 34.7 percent in 2016 to a career-high 46.2 percent last season.
Fly balls play well at Coors Field and Morrison looks like he is focused on getting the ball up at the plate. In 2018, he is predicted to hit 26 homers and post a .240/.330/.459 slash line.
So how would a lineup with Morrison potentially look? Think about this, with left-handers in the lineup signified with an (L) designation…
Charlie Blackmon (L) – CF
DJ LeMahieu – 2B
Nolan Arenado – 3B
Logan Morrison (L) – 1B
Trevor Story – SS
Ian Desmond – LF
Gerardo Parra (L) – RF
Chris Iannetta – C
Morrison absolutely adds some left-handed pop in the middle of the lineup where the Rockies need it.
Defensively, in 529 games at first base over seven seasons, Morrison has a .995 fielding percentage at first base. He did, however, have a career-high eight errors last season.
Morrison was predicted by MLBTradeRumors.com to bring in a three-year, $36 million contract by the Boston Red Sox this offseason. Will the Rockies pay money for a bat knowing contract discussions are coming up with Blackmon, LeMahieu and Arenado? That is the key question to ask when looking at bringing Morrison or any other free agent into the fold.
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With Ryan McMahon rumored to be “penciled in” at first base, it is likely the Rockies will look to bring in someone to potentially platoon with McMahon at first. However, if general manager Jeff Bridich is pondering a bigger splash, Morrison could certainly make an impact in Colorado and on the National League playoff race.