The San Francisco Giants drew some skepticism when they signed the lumbering Michael Morse to a one-year, $6 million contract this off-season. They in were need of power, sure, but with Morse likely to play outfield, something the 6’5″ 245 pound man does not do well, he might struggle to be anything more than a replacement level player.
In the early days of Spring Training, Morse has apparently impressed his teammates with his power. If he shows no ill-effects of the injury that effectively sabotaged his 2013 campaign, Morse does have a chance to add pop to what can be a lifeless lineup in San Francisco.
Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area passes along some tidbits about Morse’s power display in camp on Tuesday, noting that the big slugger hit two opposite field home runs. Asked about it, Morse said:
All I was trying to do was work on my timing. Turns out it was pretty good.”
Morse’s isolated power (ISO) in his best season, 2011, was a stellar .247 (slugging percentage minus batting average). Though he has been close to a .300 hitter in terms of batting average in his best seasons (.281 career hitter), you do not measure Morse’s production by his batting average but rather by his power production.
If Morse brings that kind of pop to more at-bats (see: he stays healthy), the Giants still might get the offense out of him that they signed up for. That, in turn, might make them more willing to hold their noses and put up with his play in the outfield.