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What to expect from Logan Morrison

Borderline All-Star when healthy

MLB: Spring Training-Milwaukee Brewers at Chicago Cubs Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Logan Morrison was notified that he would make the Opening Day roster for the Milwaukee Brewers. His performance in Spring Training as well as being just a couple of years removed from an excellent 2017 season probably ensured his selection on the ball club. The uncertain status of Ryan Braun likely put things over the edge if Morrison was on the bubble at all.

Morrison is a man who believes in himself, there is no doubt. In an interview on March 1 with Adam McCalvy, he demonstrated that confidence.

When I’m healthy, I’m a borderline All-Star...I’m healthy now. I don’t see why that would change. I’m another year older, another year wiser.

Hopefully that confidence along with his flashes of brilliance in Spring Training translate to similar production in the regular season for Morrison and the Brewers. He has some track record to reinforce his confidence. His 2017 season with the Rays was definitely All-Star worthy. During that season he slashed .246/.353/.516 while blasting 38 homers from the left side of the plate. If he can return to that type of form, he is a type of player that can find success at Miller Park.

Unfortunately for LoMo, an injury to his hip derailed his breakout. In 2018, he tried to play through what was initially diagnosed as a hip impingement. He eventually was shut down and had surgery on the hip for a labrum tear and removal of a bone spur. Playing through that injury likely cost him in terms of performance and reputation. He slashed a paltry .186/.276.368 with a wRC+ of 75, which is approaching Orlando Arcia territory.

In 2019, he played in just 29 contests, racking up 38 plate appearances. His wRC+ was just 69, but the sample size is really too low to make any real judgement. While playing in AAA of that season, he put up really good numbers as he slashed .308/.369/.640 with 18 bombs over 233 plate appearances.

There is a lot that is attractive about Logan Morrison, but there is also a great deal of uncertainty. The likelihood is he will not be an All-Star player for the Brewers in 2020. He just won’t see enough at-bats. However, when he is healthy, LoMo crushes right-handed pitching. For example, he slugged .546 against right-handed pitching in 2017 versus .419 against left-handed pitching.

The Brewers will most likely utilize him against right-handed pitching either off the bench, at DH, or to spell Justin Smoak at first base. He has lost 20-25 pounds while off for COVID-19. That might be an attempt to become more athletic and possibly get some time in the outfield too. With Ryan Braun’s status in the air, he may get a few more at-bats early in the season, which could catapult him in to more playing time as the season progresses.

ZIPS projections indicate that Morrison will be a decent MLB contributor over the next three seasons.

ZIPS projections for Logan Morrison

If the Brewers got this level of player, that would be okay. I believe he could exceed these projections. Morrison’s left-handed bat should play in Miller Park. Craig Counsell is apt to use him, more often than not, in advantageous match-ups for Morrison. He may not get 130 at-bats. He might only get 50 at-bats, but those 50 at-bats could be quality. He is dangerous at the plate. He is healthy. There could be a bit of a bounce back coming for Morrison that sees him as a spot starter at DH or 1B and a possible usurper of Justin Smoak’s playing time if Smoak gets off to a poor start. Plus Ryan Braun’s soreness could be something more. Morrison would be one of the first players to step into that role if Braun is unable to go at any point this season.

Baseball statistics courtesy of Fangraphs