Last week we reviewed the sleeper that is Ryan Raburn (here).
This week we peer into the crystal ball that is forecasting to determine if Logan Morrison is primed for greatness in 2011. If you're not in a league that counts BB or OBP, you might have missed a very nice two months from a guy who won't turn 24 until late August. And, unless you're a rookie named Stanton, you get a little overlooked from folks outside of Miami.
What did Morrison do upon his arrival in the Bigs? Despite hitting only two home runs in 244 at bats, he was the No. 12 first baseman over the final two months of the season in 5x5 categories. If you include walks, he was the ninth ranked first baseman with a line of .297-41-2-16-41-0. Of course, that's assuming he was first baseman-eligible in your league. Morrison played zero games at first base in 2010, so this year he'll only be outfield-eligible.
Morrison had a 14.3 BB percentage (Jason Heyward had a 14.6 BB percentage) which was excellent for a rookie and good for third in all of baseball last year on a per-game-basis for guys playing more than 50 games. In 1,890 PA in the minor leagues, Morrison accumulated a 12.6 BB percentage. I'd expect minimal regression, but would not be surprised if he maintained a BB percentage over 14. His .369 wOBA in Florida and his high minors wOBA proves he knows how to create runs. His .351 BABIP last season was a bit high when looking at his career, so I would expect some regression, but not much.
Ground balls are part of Morrison's game, much like Billy Butler who he most closely resembles right now as far as tendencies go. Morrison had GB/FB/LD percentages of 48.2/32.1/19.7, and Butler's were 47.7/34.0/18.3.
Some other 2010 similarities to Butler to help us gauge what Morrison could continue to do:
AVG: Morrison .283 / Butler .318
OBP: .390 / .388
SLG: .447 / .469
BB/K: 0.8 / 0.88
ISO: .164 / .151
BABIP: .351 / .341
wOBA: .369 / .372
Will Morrison ever develop power? Tough to tell. His HR/AB year after year have been all over the place starting with his first year in the minors at age 18: 1.2 percent, 5.3 percent, 2.7 percent, 2.8 percent, 2.3 percent and then 0.8 percent in MLB.
Assuming he maxes out at three percent in the majors, he'll be lucky to hit 20 home runs in a season. Seems to me a powerless Billy Butler might be the best forecast for 2011. After all, Morrison did hit 20 doubles in 62 games for Florida—a rate superior to Butler. You'd hope they would start turning into home runs at some point as he is reaching his power years.
I think the best is yet to come from Logan Morrison but, this year, depending on your league size, he just may not be draft-worthy. Without stealing bags, a 10 home run outfielder is tough to slot in every day.
My 2011 Logan Morrison Projection: .295/85/10/75/80BB/0
I currently have him as my No. 51 outfielder and, since he is going off the board as the No. 56 outfielder, there is some value there if you use my projection as his floor. You'd probably draft him not for his projected stats, but for the potential of more.
Our fourth 2011 Nomination coming up: Mike Aviles.