Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mike Morse's cold hot streak

After an awful month of April, Mike Morse is getting hot; with a .395 batting average and .744 slugging percentage in May, it appears that he might be the same player who destroyed pitching in Spring Training this season. Wait, what did you say? You asked what his OBP was? Well, it's .395 as well, because Morse hasn't taken a walk in May. 2 steps forward and 1 step back if you ask me.

Rather than looking at the months separately, let's look at 2011 as a whole for Morse right now because at 122 PA, Morse has enough batting experience to start making judgments. Morse is hitting .281/.303/.447 for the year. The batting average is solid, and actually below his career average of .290. His BABIP at .342 is high, but his career BABIP runs very high (.347), so a major regression is not to be assumed. Morse's biggest problems this year are regressions in his ISO and BB/K rates. Expecting Morse to repeat his .229 ISO from last year is a little realistic, and a .167 isn't bad at all. Still, I'd like to see more power out of a guy who doesn't walk and is about to get a lot more playing time. Morse has been allergic to walks, though, only taking them 3.3% of the time. His ML career average is 6.4%, for the record, and he hasn't gone below 5% at any level in recent history. Combine that with an almost 5% rise in K rate to 28.9% and I'm sufficiently concerned. Morse's recent "hot" streak is completely unsustainable until the man starts walking. Morse has shown the ability to take walks in the past, and I think his eye will rebound a little bit, but I'm discouraged for now.

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