Kansas City Royals: The Royals should avoid Logan Morrison
With the thought that Eric Hosmer could sign with a different team (San Diego Padres), the Kansas City Royals will need to start considering other alternatives for first base. Kansas City native, Logan Morrison, has been a name circling the Royals rumor mill. Perhaps the Royals should avoid Morrison though.
The Royals technically do not have a first baseman on the depth chart after trading Brandon Moss. Which is crazy to think about. The overwhelming thought from the sports world is that Eric Hosmer could still return to Kansas City. That would easily eliminate the conversation. However, recent reports show that the Padres have made a late surge to try and bring Hosmer to San Diego.
Therefore, what options do the Royals have? One option the Royals have, that should be at the bottom of the list, is bringing Logan Morrison to Kansas City.
Yes, I understand the attraction of bringing him to Kansas City. He is a Kanas City native and went to college at Maple Woods Community College. He has also made it clear that he would like to come back to Kansas City and play for the Royals. Both of those aspects would make him an appealing option for a team.
This leads to the question of “why the Royals should avoid him?”
Why avoid him – The “just because” reason
Let’s continue this part under the assumption that Hosmer has signed somewhere other than Kansas City
The first reason is fairly simple. If the Royals miss out on Hosmer then the logical “Plan B” would be to see what they have in-house. I fully understand that the Royals were going to spend big money on Hosmer. I also fully understand the concept of “if they have money for Hosmer then they have money for a cheaper player like Morrison.” But just because they have the money, does that mean they should spend it?
If they miss on the main prize, Hosmer, then save the money for someone later. The Royals do have options they can use at first base. However, they are unknown players that have had very little to no MLB experience: Hunter Dozier, Cheslor Cuthbert, Frank Schwindel, and Ryan O’Hearn. But if they are not going to build around Hosmer, then it does not make sense to spend significant money at first base, “just because”.
Why avoid him – The “numbers” reason
This reason is pretty straightforward. Morrison is a career .245/.330/.433 hitter. He has 122 homeruns over his eight-years (an average of 15 per season), hitting 20+ homeruns twice in his career (2011 and 2017). He did have a breakout year when it comes to homeruns last year, hitting 36 on the year. However, 24 of the 36 came in the first half of the year. Regardless, 36 is still impressive.
Unfortunately, since coming into the league in 2010 he has hit .250 or higher twice (2010 and 2014). Otherwise, he has been a consistent .230-.240 hitter his entire career.
A number that has started coming up more that helps show the value of a player is the wRC+ (this number attempts to credit a hitter for the value of each at-bat outcome, rather than treating every at-bat as an equal outcome).
Morrison has bounced between minors and majors the majority of his career and his wRC+ looks good in the minor leagues. However, in the majors is where the number gets a bit inconsistent. Keep in mind, 100 is the average score for a player.
- 2010 – 129 wRC+ over 62 games
- 2011 – 116 wRC+ over 123 games
- 2012 – 93 wRC+ over 93 games
- 2013 – 98 wRC+ over 85 games
- 2014 – 111 wRC+ over 99 games
- 2015 – 90 wRC+ over 146 games
- 2016 – 100 wRC+ over 107 games
- 2017 – 130 wRC+ over 149 games
This number is not everything, but coming from a player who over his career has a low batting average, and less than impressive power numbers, the move to a bigger stadium like Kauffman might not be the best choice.
Defensively, he has never posted a positive dWAR (defensive wins above replacement) and over his career has a -9.3 dWAR. His .995 fielding percentage is not a bad number though considering his 529 games at first base.
Logistically, it does not make a lot of sense to sign Morrison. Even if it is for a three-year, $30 million contract, it does not make a lot of sense. I understand that the Royals do not have a legitimate first baseman on the active roster who has played legitimate time at first base in the big leagues. But the Royals could have a player in the rough that we just do not know of right now.
Similar to Whit Merrifield, the Royals could have a diamond in the rough within the farm system. The team will never know unless they let someone try though. I understand if the Royals sign Morrison, but at the same time, I would rather see a young guy from the farm system at first base if it is not manned by Hosmer.
What do you think Royals fans? If Hosmer signs somewhere else, do you think they should sign Morrison? Do you think the Royals should give an in-house guy a chance and save the money? Let us know your thoughts!