It is a profound testimony to how thinly spread quality talent has become in baseball — particularly middle-of-the-order power hitters — that all of sudden the most sought-after player this winter is Michael Morse, the hulking, injury-prone, defensively challenged 30-year-old Washington Nationals slugger whose propensity for striking out far exceeds his willingness to take a walk.
...There is no question Morse is a legitimate power hitter, but as with so many power hitters today, with the home runs you have to live with the strikeouts. They’re a little easier to live with if you’re, say, Adam Dunn, whose major league-leading 222 strikeouts last season were at least offset somewhat by his 105 walks, which also led the majors. In Morse’s case, however, he walked only 16 times last year, as opposed to striking out 97 times, for a 6.1 strikeouts-to-walks ratio that was the worst in the majors for players with 400 or more plate appearances, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
“With each passing year, the hardest thing to find in the high schools and colleges are middle-of-the-order power hitters with plate discipline,” said one longtime amateur scout for an American League team. “Just look around the majors. How many big-time power hitters do you see coming out of any organization? It’s hard enough to find guys with 35-homer power, but so many times when you do, they turn out to be Justin Smoak/Bryan LaHair types with big holes in their swings who can’t cut it in the big leagues.”
Posted: January 12, 2013 at 10:29 PM | 15 comment(s)
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