These ain’t the punchless Miami Marlins anymore — and it’s not because Giancarlo Stanton has been back in the lineup.
If the NL East basement dwellers’ 7-3 record over their last 10 games weren’t surprising enough, it’s the source of their success that has been turning heads in Miami. Long the victim of a misguided conversion to outfield (because of Gaby Sanchez), Logan Morrison‘s return to the Marlins as a first baseman has provided an identity-changing impact for the team.
Then again, considering LoMo’s pedigree as a top prospect and that he’s already posted OPS numbers at .837 and .797 in his age-22 and 23 season, perhaps it was only a matter of time.
Repeated injuries can make folks quickly forget about skill and upside, and few young players in MLB know that better than Morrison, having played with a bum knee all season before shutting it down for good at the end of July and resting it through June 9 this year.
But you know what makes people forget about the injuries?
How about a .323/.408/.597 triple-slash since returning to the bigs, with nine extra-base hits in just 71 PA, including three homers?
Counting his 1-for-4 performance on Friday in which Morrison hit his third homer of the season and second in three days, he has now successfully recorded a hit in 13 of the 18 games he’s appeared in this season, buoyed by a current career-high 21.2 percent line drive rate and 85.7 percent contact rate.
And it’s not as though he’s just hacking at the ball aggressively either, as he does own a good 12.7 percent walk rate, giving him a 0.90 BB/K that suggests he’s been able to see the ball well and take a balanced approach at the plate.
Though it may not seem like it, but Morrison is just 25-years-old, and has plenty of time trying to make his All-Star caliber potential become a reality. No, it won’t exactly save the Marlins from finishing at the bottom of the league once again, but a healthy LoMo will likely be able to provide an anchor with Stanton for this young lineup that will look to rebuild through incoming young stars like Christian Yelich.
That, or it gives them another player to trade when they become expensive (Morrison is eligible for arbitration next season). With the Marlins, you just never know.