Logan Morrison of the Tampa Bay Rays is tearing the cover off the ball this year. Through 51 games he has already matched his 2016 total with 14 bombs. I remember watching a young Logan Morrison when he was just a prospect with the Marlins, and I thought him and “Mike” Stanton were going to be mashing baseballs together for years to come.
Morrison posted strong numbers through his first two years in Miami, but he had trouble staying on the field. Then the next two years with the Marlins were once again hampered by injury, but this time he wasn’t producing when he was out on the field. His slugging percentage went from hovering around .450 to dropping below .400 in both of the next two seasons. He would then move on to Seattle where the story was much the same between missed playing time and slugging percentages of .420 and .383.
His first year with the Rays in 2016 was once again very similar with a .238/.319/.414 slash line in only 107 games, but this year he seems to have found something. To go along with his 14 dingers he is slashing .246/.347/.544. Now those are All-Star caliber numbers, but will he be able to sustain it?
Lets first take a look at what he’s doing differently at the plate.
Looking at footage of his swing, it looks much the same as it has since his days with the Fish. It’s a bit long and built for loft, but it seemed he would try and use the whole field and hit more line drives and ground balls. With a swing and body type like his your best bet is to try and get some loft and pull that baby out of the park.
This year he seems to have truly found himself as a hitter.
Look at his batted ball statistics. He is taking the ball to left at a much lower rate than most of his career. LoMo is only going the opposite way 15.9% of the time compared to his career number of 22.1%, and he is hitting balls to center field at a 37.3% clip compared to 30.5% last year.
It seems those balls to left field have started to make their way to center, which tells me that he is starting to play into his swing and yank outside pitches. With his size (as long as he can find the barrel) those balls can still find their way into the bleachers.
Morrison is also using the natural loft in his swing to hit more fly balls. He is hitting ground balls 38.9 percent of the time while hitting fly balls 45.2 percent of the time, compared to career numbers of 44.3% and 36.5% respectively.
This is great news as long as he can keep making hard contact at the same rate he has been. LoMo is making hard contact 43.7% of the balls he puts in play, but that is a far cry from his career number of 32.5%.
I believe that his ability to play into his swing has helped cause this, but we won’t know for sure until we let this full season play out.
I’ve been a LoMo fan ever since his days with the Marlins. As a freshman in high school I created my twitter account because of how active he was on there. My bio was even “LoMo Tweet Back!”. So I’m hoping he proves my theory right, and I may finally get that shoutout.