FanPost

Logan Morrison might be a pleasant surprise for the Mariners

Logan Morrison was acquired via trade with the Miami Marlins for the low, low price of Carter Capps this offseason. Regardless of either player’s future performance the LoMo trade should be considered a win for GM Z, as trading a high upside relief pitcher for a high upside position player is a textbook example of following good process. Now, there’s a reason that LoMo was traded for nothing but a relief pitcher, and we will address that, but there’s also reason to believe that Trader Jack finally reared his beautiful bald head again with this acquisition.

If you've read some of the other FanPosts I’ve written over the past few months, you’ll know that I like to base my analysis of a player’s offensive skills off of their batted ball and plate discipline statistics. That’s because if you swing at good pitches and hit the ball on a line when you’re at bat, you’re generally doing something right. Looking at the stats that tell you if a player is doing these things provides me with a solid baseline for determining what a player is doing right or wrong at the plate. If the batted ball and plate discipline stats don’t tell me enough, I start to look at other types of stats to find a plausible explanation behind a player’s performance. How does this paragraph relate to the first part of this FanPost? It doesn’t really, but I thought I’d provide a bit of insight into my analysis methodology, as I don’t believe I’ve done that before.

I did just that for Morrison. I tried to figure out if Morrison’s dip in production after having two good-or-better seasons was a product of some skillset he was lacking as a player, injuries, or something else.

The Overall

2010

PA

wOBA

wRC+

BABIP

ISO

Vs L

89

.415

157

.446

.123

Vs R

198

.353

116

.311

.181

Overall

287

.372

129

.351

.164


Nothing wrong here outside of the small sample sizes. You can’t complain if you get that kind of production from a player who just got called up.

2011

PA

wOBA

wRC+

BABIP

ISO

Vs L

154

.321

99

.284

.158

Vs R

371

.356

123

.257

.246

Overall

525

.346

116

.265

.221


The platoon split versus lefties begins to show up here, but at the very least he managed to put up a league average performance against them with a wRC+ of 99. That rise in ISO across the board is worth pointing out as well, and makes it important to point out that LoMo has a ridiculous amount of power in his bat. Safeco won’t be a problem for him, especially as a LHB.

2012

PA

wOBA

wRC+

BABIP

ISO

Vs L

85

.286

76

.228

.188

Vs R

249

.315

96

.254

.162

Overall

334

.308

90

.248

.169

2013

PA

wOBA

wRC+

BABIP

ISO

Vs L

79

.231

39

.260

.042

Vs R

254

.338

114

.287

.162

Overall

333

.312

96

.281

.133


Oh no.

So yeah, something went wrong for Morrison in 2012 and 2013. Was it just injury, was it Morrison’s ability at the plate (or lack thereof), or was it something else?

The Plate Discipline

Year

BB%

K%

O-Swing%

Z-Swing%

Swing%

O-Contact%

Z-Contact%

Contact%

2010

14.3%

17.8%

19.8%

55.3%

36.0%

59.8%

90.6%

81.4%

2011

10.3%

18.9%

25.8%

58.5%

39.9%

70.5%

89.2%

82.3%

2012

9.3%

17.4%

22.9%

54.8%

38.4%

65.3%

92.2%

84.1%

2013

11.4%

16.8%

28.2%

69.4%

45.0%

69.3%

91.6%

83.3%


I’m not seeing anything alarming here. You see jumps and decreases in various swing and contact percentages, but the majority of his BB% and K% (i.e., 2011 through 2013) remain fairly steady throughout his career. I can’t point to anything here and say "That’s why LoMo fell off a cliff in 2012 and 2013," especially when he’s better than average at the majority of these stats.

The Batted Ball

Year

LD%

GB%

FB%

2010

19.7%

48.2%

32.1%

2011

18.0%

47.4%

34.6%

2012

18.4%

41.0%

40.6 %

2013

20.3%

47.7%

32.1%


LoMo has hit grounders a bit more often than the MLB average over his career, but all of those batted ball rates are hovering within a few percentage points of league average every year. There’s one more batted ball stat to look at that, though, and it’s telling:

Year

HR/FB

2010

3.2%

2011

18.1%

2012

11.3%

2013

7.9%


Throwing out 2010 for rookie season small sample size weirdness, there’s a worrying trend of Morrison’s HR/FB rate decreasing every year since 2011. A player with LoMo’s power and batted ball profile is going to make his living by hitting dingers, and those dingers have been disappearing since 2011. What happened?

The Something Else

The Miami Marlins unleashed something terrible upon the world in 2012 for which they should never be forgiven. "Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate."

Marlins_park_home_run_feature_non-cropped_medium

This place is terrible, and someday Logan Morrison might look back on it as the ballpark that almost ruined his career.

Cxlq51m_medium

Again, 2010 omitted for SSS weirdness. The move into Marlin Park absolutely destroyed Morrison at the plate while his production stayed (relatively) up on the road. And it wasn’t just Morrison who suffered. Marlins Park has a HR factor of 89 in its two years of life (Sunlife was at 97 over a five year sample size in 2011), which is absurdly terrible. How terrible is that? Before the fences were moved in, Safeco Field and Petco Park had HR factors of 92 and 89, respectively, over a five year sample size (Safeco was at 97 in 2013, Petco 98). Marlins Park has been worse than Safeco Field for dingers. That is so very, very bad, and I’m not sure what else there is to say about it.

The Wrap Up

There’s no guarantee that Logan Morrison will ever come close to regaining his 2010/2011 form, but there’s information there that makes it look not entirely unlikely. Between the consistency of his batted ball and plate discipline stats, his knee injuries, and the awfulness of Marlins Park, LoMo looks to have a good shot at rebounding nicely with the M’s if he’s truly back to full health. He might end up being the most interesting player to watch going into this season, and I’m excited to see what he’ll do.

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