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Examining Logan Morrison’s Breakout 2017 Season

Throughout this offseason, there have been rumors of the Twins searching for a veteran bat. The free agent market has been slow this year and there are multiple pieces still available to sign as spring training games have already begun. Mike Napoli was one name tied to Minnesota as the offseason started but nothing came to fruition. Now a different veteran bat is heading to the Twins.

What will Logan Morrison add to the Twins line-up? Was his breakout 2017 campaign a fluke?
Image courtesy of Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
According to the Pioneer Press, Jake Odorizzi was trying to recruit Logan Morrison and Alex Cobb to the Twins. The story also said, “according to a person with direct knowledge, the Twins are showing interest in Morrison, a 30-year old first baseman coming off a 38-homer breakout season with the Rays.”

Things escalated quickly from there this afternoon as the Twins have agreed to sign
Morrison. According to multiple reports, the Twins have an agreement with Morrison. He will get $6.5 million in 2018 with the potential for the deal to be worth $16.5 million over the next two years. As a left-handed slugger, Morrison could impact Minnesota in multiple ways.
Morrison’s career year in 2017 led to a lot of positive numbers. He finished in the top 10 in home runs and Statcast ranked him in the top-30 for barrels per plate appearance. Morrison has a career .330 on-base percentage and he raised his walk rate to 13.5 percent last year. Left-handed pitchers held Morrison to hitting .233/.342/.419 with six home runs. Obviously, righties are where he did the bulk of his damage with a .905 OPS and 49 extra-base hits including 32 home runs.

Changes in swing mechanics were also at the heart of Morrison's 2017 breakout.

Adding Morrison will impact the line-up in multiple ways. As spring training started, players like Kennys Vargas and Robbie Grossman were vying to serve in a designated hitter role. Morrison will fit in nicely against right-handed pitchers but that will leave Vargas and/or Grossman on the outside looking in. Those aren't the only two players impacted by this deal.

No one knows how much Miguel Sano is going to be able to play in the field after he returns from his shin injury. The club has also been worried about his fitness as spring training begins. Joe Mauer also needs some at-bats at designated hitter throughout the season. So where does Morrison fit into the line-up?

A potential Twins line-up including Morrison and a healthy Sano could look like this:
1. Brian Dozier- 2B
2. Joe Mauer- 1B
3. Miguel Sano- 3B
4. Logan Morrison- DH
5. Byron Buxton- CF
6. Eddie Rosario- LF
7. Max Kepler- RF
8. Jorge Polanco- SS
9. Jason Castro- C
On paper, that seems like a line-up that could cause some damage in the American League. It seems like the right mixture of veterans and young core players.

Last season, Houston used a combination of young players from their organization and added in some veteran pieces. Everything clicked with their mixture of players and the club fought their way to the first title in franchise history. It takes the right combination of veterans and young players but Morrison adds another veteran voice in the clubhouse to go along with Mauer and Dozier.

Minnesota has money to spend after losing out in the Yu Darvish sweepstakes. It now seems like Morrison will be getting some of those funds. He seems like a good fit for the Twins but what do you think? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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17 Comments

I've heard much worse ideas.If Odorizzi gives us extra value as a recruiter for Cobb, I'm all for it.

    • Mike Frasier Law, Homer Hanky and d-mac like this
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Carole Keller
Feb 25 2018 01:26 PM
Hmm, who’s out ... Vargas? Guess they have time to make that decision since there’s an open roster spot.
    • Homer Hanky likes this

My guess is you could play Sano at DH against lefties with Escobar at 3rd.On the days Mauer needs a day off now Morrison plays first.This is a great move.It also leaves room for one more since I would guess that Twins will no longer have a need for Grossman after this move. Granite or Wade will be your 4th outfielder.

This move also gives the Twins a player to trade for a front line pitcher using either Kepler or Sano as the headliner, that will be even a better use of assets.

Sounds like his BB rate, fly ball rate & launch angle all jumped significantly last season, leading to the power surge.If this truly signals a philosophical change that he can stick to, perhaps he can sustain his production.An OPS of .868 is nothing to sneeze at. 

    • Twins33, nicksaviking, sploorp and 3 others like this
Beckmt luckily your not our gm trade Sano? Not unless were getting strasburg which isn't happening. I like this regime they make smart moves, not all will work but I like the way this is going. Remember years ago when we could of had Alfonso sorriano for Scott baker but Terry Ryan said no thanks!!! It's funny how he leaves and the truth starts to come out about how Jim pohlad actually wants good players not scrap heap that were used to. We could of had Darvish but I wouldn't pay him what he got either. To many variables. We actually have a bullpen now that's not a bunch of 6+ era guys, we have a rotation that's not special but definently not awful either. I like how the smoke screen played out about lance Lynn. Let's all forget about him cuz truthfully he's nothing special. A guy that has never pitched for American league team so really looking at a 4.5 era with us don't we have that already like with Gibson. We dont just go out and sign players to sign them we are signing players for once that can change the outcome of a game. Who would of thought yesterday were getting a guy that hits 35+ home runs against the East? He's going to do some serious damage to Detroit, Chicago, and KC! I am a true lifelong fan of the twins not a "rube" we know we don't have a true ace but that's ok. What we did today was so unbelievably intelligent we can score runs already so what did we do we just made our line up even better. These guys know what there doing don't waste money on some mediocre starting pitcher just because we need pitching that's not how to succeed. These boys are building a contender and at the end of the day this is a great example of that. We finally don't have to count on the Grossmans or the Vargas to maybe be good when they won't ever be. This is a great day twins fans!!! I like this move so much better than lance Lynn yuck all we have is 90 mph sinker ball pitchers I will pass and take this beast to go with Dozier, Sano, Keppler, Rosario, Buxton, that's scary. Finally we have a bullpen so no more letting our starter go out for "that extra inning" when 9 times out of 10 gets shelled as we sit watching at home yelling to the tv why is he still out on the mound. Another great move this off-season. We have never played with the big boys, well times have changed finally.
    • sploorp and Original Whizzinator like this

 

Beckmt luckily your not our gm trade Sano? Not unless were getting strasburg which isn't happening. I like this regime they make smart moves, not all will work but I like the way this is going. Remember years ago when we could of had Alfonso sorriano for Scott baker but Terry Ryan said no thanks!!! It's funny how he leaves and the truth starts to come out about how Jim pohlad actually wants good players not scrap heap that were used to. We could of had Darvish but I wouldn't pay him what he got either. To many variables. We actually have a bullpen now that's not a bunch of 6+ era guys, we have a rotation that's not special but definently not awful either. I like how the smoke screen played out about lance Lynn. Let's all forget about him cuz truthfully he's nothing special. A guy that has never pitched for American league team so really looking at a 4.5 era with us don't we have that already like with Gibson. We dont just go out and sign players to sign them we are signing players for once that can change the outcome of a game. Who would of thought yesterday were getting a guy that hits 35+ home runs against the East? He's going to do some serious damage to Detroit, Chicago, and KC! I am a true lifelong fan of the twins not a "rube" we know we don't have a true ace but that's ok. What we did today was so unbelievably intelligent we can score runs already so what did we do we just made our line up even better. These guys know what there doing don't waste money on some mediocre starting pitcher just because we need pitching that's not how to succeed. These boys are building a contender and at the end of the day this is a great example of that. We finally don't have to count on the Grossmans or the Vargas to maybe be good when they won't ever be. This is a great day twins fans!!! I like this move so much better than lance Lynn yuck all we have is 90 mph sinker ball pitchers I will pass and take this beast to go with Dozier, Sano, Keppler, Rosario, Buxton, that's scary. Finally we have a bullpen so no more letting our starter go out for "that extra inning" when 9 times out of 10 gets shelled as we sit watching at home yelling to the tv why is he still out on the mound. Another great move this off-season. We have never played with the big boys, well times have changed finally.

I have seen on the internet the Twins offered Sano straight up for Archer and were turned down.It is stuff like this that I am referencing.Sano has no plans to stay here after 6 years, Archer has 4 years on a team friendly contract. I am not only saying Sano, but if we have to include a very good Twins major leaguer to get a front line starter, we need to at least examine it and if it make sense go for it.It is harder to find front line starters than any other position.

    • sploorp, d-mac and BJames like this

My guess is you could play Sano at DH against lefties with Escobar at 3rd.On the days Mauer needs a day off now Morrison plays first.This is a great move.It also leaves room for one more since I would guess that Twins will no longer have a need for Grossman after this move. Granite or Wade will be your 4th outfielder.
This move also gives the Twins a player to trade for a front line pitcher using either Kepler or Sano as the headliner, that will be even a better use of assets.


Granite makes no sense. Wade either. They hit lefty and the twins need a right handed bat. their defense is pretty useless because the twins don't use the 4th of for defensive replacement purposes. And Grossman has no options.
    • sploorp, d-mac and Dozier's Glorious Hair like this
I hope Bux can one day soon hit first or second. I’d love to see 40 SBs a year from him. And hopefully one day, it will be explained to him it’s legal to steal third.
    • Ipswichfan likes this
You consider Archer front line yes here he would be just like there. Sano isn't going anyplace if he can stay healthy which he tried to play at the end of year which should say alot about him not this he's huge. Really no kidding like we haven't known this forever. The guy could hit 40+ 130 rbi and hit .275. Let's look at Archer 3.67 career era his last 2 years it's been 4 era. That is not a ace by any means. We had a ace that won 2 cy youngs led MLB in era and k's that's a ace just because his contract is 4 years means very little to me honestly. Darvish is better than Archer but he isn't worth what he got which is why he isn't here. We have never went after a real player. We did this year. It didn't work out doesn't mean I give up Sano for a #2 at best. Tampa doesn't want to trade him don't blame them. They will come to earth either in July or next year or maybe 2 years. If Sano does what he can do we will resign him watch this is so different now were just so used to saying goodbye to our guys that s not how we operate anymore thankfully.
Sano not here for the long haul? You never know.

Still, having Morrison as a bench bat, too, when someone else is the DH is intriguing.

And Mauer doesn't have to DH all-the-time when NOT playing first, thus you have another strong bench bat for a dozen or so games.

The question is still the rotation...can they give you six innings or more consistently, then you can stick with a 7-man pen and have more play in the field.
    • David HK likes this

I am not sure how I feel.It is not a bad pickup, but I need to see the 25 man roster and understand long range plans before this can be judged.

    • jud6312 likes this

If he produces at last year's rate, or at least something close to it, this is a good deal. If, however, he regresses to his pre-2017 form, then I can't say I'm a huge fan of it.

 

I like the aggressiveness, but if he doesn't produce, you essentially swapped Vargas and Chargois to pay more money.

 

Jury's out for me.

I'm excited to see LoMo as a Twin.Really dug the Odorizzi deal, too.Finally, some things are happening in the winter (nearly spring) time for once in Twinkieland.Now, I just need to see Lance Lynn over here, too, and my offseason will be complete!

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Tommygun921
Feb 26 2018 12:13 PM
I know Dozier wants to lead off but his power would play better behind Logan than Buxton. Swap those two and I like that lineup a lot!
    • Original Whizzinator likes this
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Tommygun921
Feb 26 2018 12:17 PM
I also wonder if Vargas or Grossman will be traded. I'm still really curious how Vargas' bat would play if given an extended look. Grossman has good player discipline, but doesn't profile very well as a DH or 4th outfielder.
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Original Whizzinator
Feb 26 2018 06:48 PM
Similar change in approach to what Dozier did. Every year we wonder when he will turn into a pumpkin but it hasn't happened yet. Who can say whay will happen but as was pointed out he came from the East and will play in a weaker division. This sort of thing gets downplayed and people have correctly pointed out when talking pitching that the offenses of the East were average last year. In this case though he will be facing many more lightly regarded righties than last year.
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Matthew Lenz
Feb 27 2018 02:03 PM

 

I am not sure how I feel.It is not a bad pickup, but I need to see the 25 man roster and understand long range plans before this can be judged.

I hear what you're saying, but I think this is easy.Vargas is out.I see others thinking Vargas could be traded, but he has no trade value, IMO. 

 

This was a heck of a steal for the Twins.Even if he only hits 20 bombs.At $6.5 million you can't go wrong with that as a platoon option.


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