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Projecting Michael Morse's 2014 season

"fastball fastball fastball fastball SLIDER noooooo they tricked me again"

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

It's a truism that when an organization, person, or corporation wants news to be buried, they release it on Friday afternoon. Nobody cares what happens on Friday. Let the bad news flow.

On a completely unrelated note, it's time for Michael Morse projections.

Let's go over what we know. Morse is a large human being who chases breaking balls. A table to help explain exactly how much he chases:

Swing% O-Swing% Contact % Zone% WTF%
Mike Morse
51.8 36 74.6 46.9
Aaron Rowand
50.4 35.5 74.9 49.2

Swing % is the percentage of overall swings taken. O-Swing% is the percentage of swings taken outside of the strike zone. Contact % is the percentage of contact made, and Zone% is the percentage of pitches seen inside the strike zone. I have no idea what the last column is. Hover your mouse over the pictures if you're feeling lucky.

This isn't to say Morse is Aaron Rowand. But if you enjoyed the discipline and patience of Rowand, you're going to love Morse. There's a gonna be hacking. The good news is that Rowand had far, far more defensive value and was a better baserunner. And ... wait, that's not good news.

The only thing Morse offers over Giants-era Rowand: the promise of dingers. That's it, that's all he's got. If he hits 30+ homers like he did in 2011, the Morse-deniers will all look pretty silly. He will be valuable, and it will be the fun kind of valuable. Gregor Blanco's WAR is inflated by above-average range and speed. BORRRRRING. When Morse is valuable -- you know, that season -- he gets there by dingers. Wheeeeee!

The projection systems differ slightly on Morse:

Steamer: .253/.305/.423, 22 HR, horrible defense, almost replacement
Oliver: .249/.300/.415, 21 HR, horrible defense, almost replacement
ZiPS: .253/.304/.415, 14 HR, horrible defense, exactly replacement
PECOTA: .264/.320/.446, 13 HR, poor defense, a win above replacement

Attaway, PECOTA. There's a reason why Obama mentions the guy who created you, but ignores the rest of the projection systems. Looking at you, Szymborski.

I'll err on the side of PECOTA, if only because I believe the wrist injury hampered Morse a ton last year. And there's also something about the Mariners that sucks the lifeblood out of every hitter who plays there. Here's a Robinson Cano projection, for example: .280/.320/.390 and a lot of handwringing. It will make me feel bad until I think about the percentage of bummed-out Seahawks fans.

The Giants want dingers. They'll get dingers. Then they'll pull the switcheroo at the end of the game and get Blanco in there. The Mariners weren't very good about that; the Orioles were fanatics about it. The Giants have Burrell-related experience with that sort of thing.

I still can't find video of Morse playing shortstop, dang it. But I'm as excited for that possibility as I am to watch Belt or Crawford pitch.

Michael Morse
AB: 488
AVG: .261
OBP: .311
SLG: .436
HR: 22
Defense: No.

There has to be one in every lineup, I guess. Considering that Marco Scutaro is a spectral vision like Obi-Wan now, which means Joaquin Arias or whoever is starting, there could be two.

Looking forward to those dingers, though. And he seems like a character of sorts, so I'll enjoy his presence. It's a goofy outfield, folks.