Logan Morrison enters the 2013 MLB season in a position more enviable than most baseball players. Though manager Mike Redmond has yet to confirm it, Morrison is expected to bat cleanup for the Miami Marlins, behind one of the most explosive young hitters in the game, Giancarlo Stanton. However, Morrison is coming off yet another injury in just his third season in the big leagues. What can we expect from him in the upcoming fantasy baseball season?
Morrison comes into 2013 with the familiar cloud of injury hanging over his head. In June of 2012, Morrison’s season was cut short due to inflammation in his knee. While it was bad enough for Morrison to miss more than half of last season, the injury is still nagging him to date, and may jeopardize Morrison’s start to 2013.
In just three seasons with the Marlins, LoMo has had the current knee injury, a broken wrist and a broken thumb. The latter two injuries plagued his rookie season, and crept into the start of the 2011 campaign as well.
In Morrison’s one injury-free stretch, his entire 2011 season, albeit only 75% of a complete season, he did portray his expected power with 23 home runs and .468 slugging percentage. In his second major league season, he supplemented his .290 minor league career batting average and rookie season .283 MLB average to adjust to the power surge.
While it’s certainly not ideal that Morrison will likely begin his season in the minors on a rehab assignment, there are two positives that come from the situation.
Firstly, Morrison will undoubtedly be fully healthy upon his return to the Marlins. The Marlins will take their time—even if it means he’ll miss the entire first month of the season—in order to assure Morrison is healthy.
Secondly, when fully healthy, LoMo put up his best numbers in 2011 when he saw regular at-bats. While it’ll delay the start to his season, he’ll be in the best condition to produce power numbers at full health.
Factoring in the power potential with the fact that he’ll be in shape, and the fact that he’ll have some time rehabbing in the minors before coming up, and finally, knowing that he’ll be hitting behind one of the most feared hitters in baseball, and LoMo will be ripe for a solid 2013 season.
On top of all of that, Morrison does have the added benefit of some position flexibility to bring to your squad, in the form of eligibility at both first base and outfield for 2013. Take that, Yonder Alonso and David Murphy groupies.
We’ll for sure want to see how the Marlins, and Morrison himself, fare throughout spring training and up to Opening Day before I can give a recommendation to grab Morrison at the back end of the draft. However, being cautious and figuring Morrison makes his debut May 14th against the Cincinnati Reds as the Marlins start a nine-game home stand, I’ll make a prediction on Morrison’s output for the season. Again, this is figuring the injury, which he’s been rehabilitating for the last eight months now, plagues him and delays his production over the next three months.
2013 Fantasy Prediction: .271/.350/.485 with 25 home runs, 70 runs and 74 RBI
With the above production in mind, and all of the factors discussed, I’d suggest taking Morrison as a sleeper in the mid-late rounds in standard 12-team leagues. My recommendation should be strengthened if your league has one or multiple disabled list slots.
Follow Jeff on Twitter: @Jewish_Jeff