Logan Morrison

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Logan Morrison
Logan Morrison on April 3, 2016.jpg
Morrison with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2016
Tampa Bay Rays – No. 7
First baseman / Designated Hitter
Born: (1987-08-25) August 25, 1987 (age 29)
Kansas City, Missouri
Bats: Left Throws: Left
MLB debut
July 27, 2010, for the Florida Marlins
MLB statistics
(through 2016 season)
Batting average .245
Hits 597
Home runs 84
Runs batted in 297
Teams

Justis Logan Morrison (born August 25, 1987), nicknamed "LoMo", is an American professional baseball first baseman and designated hitter (DH) for the Tampa Bay Rays of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Florida / Miami Marlins and Seattle Mariners. Entering the 2010 baseball season, Morrison was considered by Baseball America to be the #2 prospect in the Florida Marlins farm system, and the #20 overall prospect. He played in the 2010 MLB All-Star Futures Game in Anaheim, California. On July 27, 2010, he was called up to the major leagues by the Marlins, and made his debut that night.

Early life and amateur career[edit]

Logan Morrison was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and moved around a lot with his father, who served in the United States Coast Guard.[1] He lived briefly in Wilmington, North Carolina, between the ages of 8 and 12 before returning to the Midwest.[citation needed][where?]

Morrison was drafted after his senior year (2005) from Northshore High School in Slidell, Louisiana by the Florida Marlins in the 22nd Round, but decided to attend Maple Woods (MO) Community College, and was signed as a draft-and-follow prior to the 2006 Major League Baseball draft.[2]

In his freshman year, Morrison batted .436 with 9 home runs, 45 RBIs. He led the Monarchs with a .532 OB%, .743 SLG% & 1.275 OPS with a 29-13 BB-K ratio. He made only 3 errors, good for a .977 fielding percentage.

Professional career[edit]

Florida / Miami Marlins[edit]

In 2007, Morrison batted .267 with 24 home runs, 86 RBIs, 71 runs scored, and 22 doubles in 128 games played. He was named a South Atlantic League Mid-Season All-Star.

In 2008, Morrison batted .332 with 13 HR, 74 RBIs, and 38 doubles for the Class High A Jupiter Hammerheads. He led the entire Florida State League in batting average (.332), hits (162), doubles (38) and OBP (.402). His 241 total bases were good for second-best in the Florida State League. He finished 4th in the Florida State League in ABs (488), 4th in OPS (.896), 5th in SLG% (.494), 6th in RBI (74), 7th in runs (71), 8th in HR (13) and 9th in BB (57). Morrison led the Jupiter Hammerheads in Games, ABs, runs, batting average, OB%, triples, walks, total bases, doubles, OB%, OPS, and SLG%.

A broken bone in his right thumb limited Morrison to 79 games at Double-A in 2009, where he batted .277 with 8 HR, 47 RBIs, and 18 doubles.

In 2010, Morrison played for the Jupiter Hammerheads and New Orleans Zephyrs. On July 27, 2010, the Florida Marlins called up Morrison to replace the injured Chris Coghlan. He went 1-4 that night, recording his first major league hit in his debut.

On August 13, 2011, Morrison was optioned back to the New Orleans Zephyrs.[3][4] Ten days later, he was called back up to the majors. In his first at-bat back, he hit a home run. On September 15, 2011, Morrison filed a grievance against the Marlins for what he termed was an unfair demotion to the minors.[5]

On February 11, 2012, Morrison switched to uniform No. 5. The number had been retired for the entirety of the Marlins' existence, in honor of the late Carl Barger, the team's founding president and chief operating officer. (Barger's favorite player had been Joe DiMaggio, who also wore No. 5). Morrison requested the number in honor of his own late father, who had encouraged Morrison to model his career after Hall of Famer George Brett, who wore No. 5 for the Kansas City Royals.[6]

On May 22, 2012, Morrison was moved to first base after the Marlins sent teammate Gaby Sánchez to Triple-A. Morrison was familiar with first base because he played that position before playing left field. On June 10, 2012, Morrison was moved back to left field after the Marlins called Sanchez back up. Morrison played 20 games at first, with a fielding percentage of .994 and one error. In 2012, Morrison was the Marlins' nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, given to a player who shows outstanding commitment to helping others both on and off the field.[7]

Seattle Mariners[edit]

Morrison during his tenure with the Seattle Mariners in 2015

On December 13, 2013, the Marlins traded Morrison to the Seattle Mariners for pitcher Carter Capps.[8] Morrison played in just 8 games before sustaining a hamstring injury, causing him to miss nearly two months of the season. On June 11, Morrison was activated from the disabled list, and immediately took over the first base role vacated by Justin Smoak, who went down with an injury.[9] In 99 games in 2014, Morrison hitting .262/.315/.420 while finishing with 11 HR and 38 RBI. Over the final two months of the season (49 games), Morrison hit .321/.375/.512 with 6 HR and 20 RBI, solidifying his role as the Mariners first baseman heading into 2015. Smoak was allowed to leave the club via waivers, and Morrison avoided arbitration with Seattle for $2.725 million.[10]

Morrison appeared in 146 games for Seattle in 2015, including making 115 starts at first base. He hit .225/.302/.383 with 17 HR and 54 RBI, with a wRC+ of 90, a significant drop-off from his 2014 value of 111. His fielding percentage of .996 was identical from 2014 to 2015, but his Defensive Runs Saved total of -7 was worse in 2015 than his 0 total in 2014. Morrison also struggled against left-handed pitchers in 2015, hitting .190 with a 19.4% strikeout rate, higher than his season total of 15.9%

Tampa Bay Rays[edit]

On November 5, 2015, Morrison, along with Brad Miller and Danny Farquhar, were traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for Nathan Karns, C. J. Riefenhauser, and Boog Powell.[11]

Having successfully supplanted incumbent first baseman James Loney with a solid spring training, Morrison began 2016 receiving the lion's share of starts at first base, with utility man Steve Pearce as his platoon-mate.[12] Morrison appeared in 107 games in his first season in Tampa Bay, making 78 starts at first base, and 17 as designated hitter. He hit .238/.319/.414 with 14 HR and 43 RBI, striking out in a career high 22.4% of his plate appearances. Morrison played his final game of the season on September 11, as a wrist injury requiring surgery cut his season short.[13] Of the 95 starts he made, only 11 came against left-handed pitchers, and as a whole, Morrison hit .258 (16-62) against lefties while benefiting from a .341 BAbip, compared to his overall BAbip of .278. Morrison ended his 2016 season with a .238 batting average.

After the 2016 season, Morrison became a free agent. On February 6, 2017, Morrison signed a one-year contract worth $2.5 million to remain with the Rays for the 2017 season.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Morrison's father battled lung cancer during Morrison's rookie season and died on December 8, 2010.[15] Morrison pays tribute to his father with a Coast Guard salute to the skies every time he hits a home run.[16] Morrison hosts an annual baseball camp in his father's honor with all proceeds benefiting the American Lung Association. Since the camp started in 2011, Morrison has raised over $300,000 for the American Lung Association.[7] The third annual LoMo: Camp for a Cure took place on January 12–13, 2013.[17]

Morrison was also one the first baseball players to gain popularity on Twitter, first gaining a large following during his first full season in the major leagues in 2011.[18] However, after posting multiple controversial tweets in the years following,[19][20][21] Morrison stopped using Twitter in August 2015.[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Associated Press."Marlins first baseman Logan Morrison a hit on Twitter," USA Today (May 31, 2011).
  2. ^ Frisaro, Joe (February 19, 2009). "Morrison impressing Marlins". MLB.com. Retrieved July 26, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Marlins Send LF Logan Morrison to Triple A and Release Wes Helms". Washington Post. August 13, 2011. [dead link]
  4. ^ Hammerman, Ethan. "Logan Morrison demotion tale full of twists," YES Network (August 16, 2011).
  5. ^ Nelson, Amy K. "Marlins' Logan Morrison files grievance," ESPN.com (September 15, 2011).
  6. ^ Frisaro, Joe (February 11, 2012). "Marlins unretire uniform No. 5 for Morrison". MLB.com. 
  7. ^ a b "Morrison named Marlins nominee for 2012 Roberto Clemente Award". Miami Marlins. Retrieved November 6, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Mariners". The Seattle Times. Retrieved November 6, 2015. 
  9. ^ Cohen, Stephen (June 11, 2014). "Mariners place Justin Smoak on DL, activate Logan Morrison". Seattle Post Intelligencer. 
  10. ^ Divish, Ryan (January 16, 2015). "M's avoid arbitration with 5 players". The Seattle Times. 
  11. ^ Stecker, Brent (November 5, 2015). "Mariners send Brad Miller, Logan Morrison to Rays in 6-player trade". mynorthwest.com. Retrieved November 5, 2015. 
  12. ^ Topkin, Marc (April 1, 2016). "Rays' Morrison, replacing Loney at first, wants some love for his glove". Tampa Bay Times. 
  13. ^ Todd, Jeff (September 16, 2016). "Logan Morrison To Undergo Surgery For Wrist Injury". MLB Trade Rumors. 
  14. ^ "Tampa Bay Rays on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2017-02-07. 
  15. ^ Spunberg, Adam (September 8, 2010). "Morrisons show strength is family trait." MLB.com. Retrieved September 19, 2010.
  16. ^ "Florida Marlins' Logan Morrison: Dad is 'forever in my heart'"
  17. ^ http://lomo4lungs.org/index.php?p=camp
  18. ^ Logan Morrison a hit on Twitter
  19. ^ Calcaterra, Craig (July 26, 2012). "Tweet of the Day: Do NOT breastfeed in front of Logan Morrison". NBC Sports. 
  20. ^ Oz, Mike (December 12, 2013). "Logan Morrison probably isn't making new fans within Seattle's gay community". Yahoo! Sports. 
  21. ^ Short, D.J. (March 17, 2014). "Logan Morrison said something controversial on Twitter again". NBC Sports. 
  22. ^ Boyd, Flinder (July 27, 2016). "Rays' Logan Morrison says Twitter has run its course for himself, other athletes". FOX Sports. 

External links[edit]