The following is a profile of Mike Morse, one of my 2011 fantasy baseball deep sleeper candidates (affectionately called narcos). For more information on the thought process behind the narcos, please visit the introductory post on this topic.
Average Draft Position: 387.84
Others drafted around that time: Jed Lowrie, Jeff Niemann, Danny Espinosa
2011 Role: Possible starting OF
2010 Production: .289 AVG, 15 HR, 36 R, 41 RBI, 0 SB in 266 AB
My 2011 Prediction: .270 AVG, 25 HR, 80 R, 90 RBI, 0 SB (if he starts)
Michael Morse wandered through various minor league systems and various positions for years now but he seems to finally be getting his shot in the Nationals’ outfield at 29 years old this year. Since 2009, he’s played 255 games between AAA and the majors. Over that span, he’s hit for a .302 average with 37 HR, 111 R and 145 RBI. So it goes without saying that he’s shown the ability to hit quite well over a long period of time at the most competitive levels. At 29, he’s no spring chicken but that hasn’t stopped other players from having very productive fantasy seasons late in their careers (Andres Torres, Angel Pagan and Jose Bautista were all older than that going into last season).
The only thing missing in the past for Morse has been a legitimate opportunity to produce. Now, he may have his shot as the Nationals appear poised to give him the starting LF job in 2011 according to the latest news out of Spring Training. He’s at least 2nd in the NL or better in AVG, HR and RBI thus far through spring training, which is largely the reason for him locking up the job. While it’s hard to say whether a hot spring will translate into a big season, he’s also shown in his other opportunities for the past few years that he can produce. MLBDepthCharts has him hitting 6th for the Nats this season which could give him nice RBI opportunities with his power. If you’re in a deep league and are looking for an OF with great potential for 2011, Morse is certainly a solid option to stash away.