In 14 days, all the Nationals diehards will be preparing to head to Nationals Park on Opening Day. Until then, we're going to predict the 25 man roster. With one catch. We're going to do it one day at a time. This way, we can provide more in depth thoughts on who we think is going to make the roster, why we think so, and what to expect from them in 2011. On the morning of Opening Day, we'll post the real 25-man compared with what we predicted.
Today's entry is the new starting LF for the ballclub, deservedly so.
Why? His entire career, Michael Morse has hit the baseball. In Seattle, he hit. When he came over in that glorious trade that sent Ryan Langerhans to the pacific northwest, he hit. And with the Nationals last year, in replacement duty, all he did was hit the ball. For some unknown reason though, he sat as well. Someone must've had dirty pictures of the slugger because as soon as he got hot, he sat the bench for 3 days.
Aside from all that, when he was in the lineup he was able to perform admirably. Last year in just 98 games (a crime btw), he hit .289 with 41 RBI and 15 HR. Spread out to 162 games thats about 75 RBI and 28 HR, which is more than we were getting with Josh Willingham for what its worth. His OPS was .890 and his OPS+ was 133 (over 100 is good).
What should we expect? Over his 6 year MLB career, Morse has a 162-game average of 91 RBI, 21 HR, with a .291 AVG and an .810 OPS. All of his potential rests with the opportunity given to him, IE will he be given a fair shake. If Morse has the chance to stay in the position for any extended period of time, he should be able to throw up some great numbers.
Morse's most-likely spot will be in the 6 hole, after LaRoche, and he should have plenty of opportunities to knock in runs. I see him hitting somewhere between .290-.300 with 22-25 HR and 85+ RBIs. We are witness to the second-coming of Jayson Werth.