Logan Morrison began the season as one of the Tampa Bay Rays hottest hitters. Since then, he has hit home runs, but not much else. Should the Rays be concerned with their first baseman?
At the beginning of the year, Logan Morrison was one of the best hitters on the Tampa Bay Rays. In their first 15 games, Morrison had produced a stellar .304/.360/.522 batting line, hitting three home runs and driving in ten. Considering how late in free agency he had been signed, Morrison appeared to be a tremendous bargain.
Fast forward from that day, and we have a different hitter. Over the past month and a half, Morrison has hit 11 homers and drawn 23 walks, but he has not done much else. In that time frame, he has produced a .224/.342/.552 batting line, with just 27 hits in his last 152 plate appearances heading into yesterday’s action.
That batting line is actually similar to Morrison’s production last season. In 2016, his first year with the Rays, Morrison produced a .238/.319/.434 batting line; the biggest difference between the two seasons, thus far, coming from his power. Indeed, Morrison has already tied his home run total from last year, as he finished the 2016 campaign with 14 homers.
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As impressive as Morrison’s home run production may be, the Rays need more than just homers. As they proved last season, when Tampa Bay was sixth in the majors with 218 home runs, and just 24th with 672 runs, they need to do more than to hit the ball over the fence. Getting on base, and putting the ball in play, can make a tremendous difference.
As for this season, Morrison would appear to be safe. He is still getting on base at a solid clip as pitchers are working around him, partially evidenced by his five intentional walks, and hitting for tremendous power. Unless he has a significant power outage in the next couple of months, Morrison has made himself a key part of the lineup.
Yet, his time in Tampa Bay will likely end after this season. Two of the Rays top prospects, Jake Bauers and Casey Gillaspie, both play first. While Bauers can play in the outfield as well, having a lower cost option should lead Morrison to find a better payday elsewhere. Likewise, if Morrison continues to hit for this much power and the Rays fall out of contention, he could be an attractive trade chip.
Logan Morrison has become quite the power bat for the Tampa Bay Rays this year. However, aside from the home runs, he is not much different of a hitter than he had been last season.