One of the more peculiar things about this season so far is the profound ineptitude of the entire Minnesota Twins free agent class. Aside from Addison Reed, the glut of newly signed players have been overwhelmingly disappointing. Lance Lynn, Zach Duke, Fernando Rodney and especially Logan Morrison have been pointed at as colossal disappointments for a team that is usually loathe to sign those free agents. Might this confirm a bias against activity in free agency for the Twins front office?
I’m here to to tell you it’s not all bad. We’ve already seen pieces written about Rodney, and how slow to start he is every season. Lynn’s slow start can be forgiven because it took so long for him to sign in the offseason. If you still think Duke is a problem, you stopped paying attention after April 7th, the last time he gave up an earned run. But what of Morrison, the surprise offensive addition that was supposed to add a bit of pop to the lineup?
In his first 50 plate appearances, he had 3 total hits. No joke, that’s pretty bad. Morrison has had 45 plate appearances since then (not including tonight, where he collected another home run, a double and a single), and to say the least, things have been going much better since April 20th. Morrison assembled a -20 wRC+ , which is a metric that synthesizes all of the components of an offensive player, before the 20th. 100 is the league average, and Morrison was all of 120 points behind.
Morrison has posted a wRC+ of 119 since that date (a number that will rise after tonight’s performance). His career average is 107, and his career year last year was a 130. Essentially, Morrison has been somewhere between typical and his breakout last year, and he’s been there for about two weeks now, or about half the Twins’ season to day.
We just haven’t noticed it because the first two weeks were so brutal, and he has, perhaps, been the only effective player the Twins have had in those two weeks. Maybe tonight’s big game against the White Sox will cause others to notice that Logan Morrison is just fine, and can use him in a more effective position than #7 in the lineup.