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A Whole New LoMo

At the end of March, Logan Morrison was looking like a bad signing for the Minnesota Twins. He was struggling at the plate and he didn’t offer a lot on the offensive side of the ball. Luckily, no division is won in the season’s first month and not player’s statistics are complete after the first month.

One of the beautiful aspects of the game of baseball is the season’s length and players ability to build numbers (good or bad) over the course of their careers. Morrison might have been a late bloomer and this season it took him some time to get the engine running.
Image courtesy of Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Cold Start
Morrison’s first opportunity to impress Twins fans didn’t go exactly as planned. In March/April, he hit .145/.253/250 (.503) with five extra-base hits across 22 games. He also posted a 20 to 8 strikeout to walk ratio. Pitchers were taking advantage of plenty of holes in his swing and Morrison’s swing of 2017 couldn’t be found.

When the Twins signed Morrison, there was a lot of talk about his adjustments to his launch angle. During the 2015 season, he posted a 10.8 degree launch angle. He increased that number a little in 2016 with a 12.1 launch angle. However, the 2017 was his true breakout campaign and his launch angle increased to 17.6. This might have been one of the reasons he was able to collect a career-high 38 home runs.

Heating Up
As the calendar turned to May, Morrison’s bat began to heat up along with the weather. Through the team’s last 17 games, LoMo is batting .298/.403/.544 (.947 OPS). He has three home runs and five doubles during that stretch. Also, he’s posted a 13 to 10 strikeout to walk ratio. All of a sudden, pitchers have a small window when pitching to Morrison.

Last season, Morrison barreled up the ball in 12.8% of his batted balls. This season his barrel percentage has dipped to 7.4% but that includes his cold hitting in the season’s first month. His exit velocity (89.3) and launch angle (18.7) are higher than last year’s breakout season. He also ranks 45th in all of baseball in FB/LD rate.

Jekyll and Hyde
So which version of Morrison can fans expect for the rest of the season? The early season version of Morrison was even worse than his career numbers would have indicated. Maybe, he was pressing to try to make an impression on his new team. Maybe, he was trying hard to make other teams regret that they didn’t go after him. Or maybe, just maybe… He’s always been a slow starter.

Throughout his entire big league career, April is his lowest month for OPS, SLG, and walks. On the other hand, May has been one of his best months during his career. He has his second highest monthly totals in OPS and SLG to go along with his highest batting average and OBP.

There’s a lot of baseball left to play and the real LoMo will probably be somewhere between the two versions Twins fans have seen this season.

Around Twins Daily
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2018 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospect: 31-40

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14 Comments

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Nick Nelson
May 21 2018 07:27 PM

Good stuff. From my view, seems like Morrison's swing is a bit slow, but when he gets a solid early read he gets the barrel out there nicely. 

 

Been a lifesaver this past month. Nauseating to think where they might be right now without him. 

    • USAFChief, glunn, Danchat and 4 others like this
Slow starts aren't unusual in baseball, especially for power hitters it seems. Not sure he's a true FB hitter, which is kind of weird for a power hitter. But then again, he hasn't been a true power hitter for his career. And I don't think he's a true cleanup type of hitter. And Molitor has seemed to recognize this, though the slow start probably has some play in this, hitting him 5th-7th which is just fine. His signing was a good one. And I agree he's probably somewhere in the middle, production wise, regarding his bad start and hot streak. He's more than capable of 20+ HR with 20+ doubles and an average in his career arc of around .240-.250. And that is just fine with the lineup the Twins "can" field. He's also been OK at 1B and made a couple nice scoops tonight vs Detroit.
    • glunn, gagu, caninatl04 and 1 other like this
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twinsfanstreif
May 21 2018 10:24 PM
"At the end of March, Logan Morrison was looking like a bad signing for the Minnesota Twins"

Slow down here, at the end of March we had only played 2 games, kind of hard to look like a bad signing after 2 games
    • Broker likes this
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Parker Hageman
May 22 2018 07:06 AM

Good post Cody.

 

Morrison made a change in his approach this season. As Morneau relayed in a broadcast last month, Morrison was trying to get into his legs more than he did last season, which is why he was more squat compared to his more upright stance in 2017. 

 

This new stance led to something in the early part of the season that I pointed out during the Yankees series: He was overstriding.

 

http://twinsdaily.co...-morrison-r6675

 

This, as Nick mentioned above, led to a longer swing (on top of a swing that can be long to begin with already). It was why he was swinging through and fouling off hittable pitches. Two series later, Morrison started to square balls more. He had two home runs in Chicago when Roy Smalley mentioned that Morrison had felt that his stride was "over-long". 

 

 

This is what slow starts look like. Hitting is about adjustments and how quickly you can refine your approach. Morrison was trying to take a new approach into the season. It was going to take some time to dial it in. 

    • Sconnie, wsnydes, Tom Froemming and 2 others like this
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tarheeltwinsfan
May 22 2018 07:07 AM

He seems to be an adequate first baseman. Made 2 nice picks of bounced throws late in last night's victory. If LoMo were not at 1B, who would be playing 1B tonight since Mauer is hurt and Garver is needed at catcher with Castro out for the season? The answer is...?

    • blindeke likes this
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puckstopper1
May 22 2018 07:23 AM

 

He seems to be an adequate first baseman. Made 2 nice picks of bounced throws late in last night's victory. If LoMo were not at 1B, who would be playing 1B tonight since Mauer is hurt and Garver is needed at catcher with Castro out for the season? The answer is...?

The answer is Max Kepler.

    • Nick Nelson, blindeke and caninatl04 like this
It's nice to see him have a good month, but if we are to judge him by one bad month it's probably too early to judge oh for one good month.
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Thebigalguy
May 22 2018 08:39 AM

My hope is that LoMo's resurgence can be replicated by Buxton. Last night I noticed what I read as a bit of disrespect for BB from Rosario in the outfield, though of course that might have been my imagination. Maybe Rosario was just supercharged or over-caffeinated. Whichever, I hope he keeps it up, and I hope BB can figure it out the way LoMo has. It's not acceptable to have a .150 BA in the lineup. There are NL pitchers with better averages.

 

My hope is that LoMo's resurgence can be replicated by Buxton. Last night I noticed what I read as a bit of disrespect for BB from Rosario in the outfield, though of course that might have been my imagination. Maybe Rosario was just supercharged or over-caffeinated. Whichever, I hope he keeps it up, and I hope BB can figure it out the way LoMo has. It's not acceptable to have a .150 BA in the lineup. There are NL pitchers with better averages.

Uhhhh... Sorry what? What disrespect?

It seems to me that LoMo is a clubhouse leader. He's got the fire and seems to be ready for anything. Especially as he continues to heat up, I think he continues to be a strong presence. My sense is he'll be the opening day 1B next year. 

 

The answer is Max Kepler.

And LaMarre in RF?

I would like to request another article in this vein... “A Whole New Buck” No later than the end of June, please.
    • Sconnie likes this
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Brock Beauchamp
May 23 2018 08:08 AM

 

Uhhhh... Sorry what? What disrespect?

Rosario snagged a ball that Buxton had pretty easily and it appears Byron called him off but Eddie didn't listen.

 

I don't think it was disrespect, it was merely Eddie being Eddie. I noticed it when it happened and watched the OF whenever they were on camera. Both were laughing and joking shortly thereafter so I don't think it was a respect thing at all, Rosario just plays his own game sometimes.

Morrison is a slow starter. Looking at his splits, if history repeats itself, he will suffer the same drought in July. His lines in June and August closely reflect his total average. The good news is that his best months are May and September. His career May/September OPS is 240 points higher than his April/July line. If the team is really in contention this year, having a historically strong finisher going into the post-season could be a great blessing. 


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