Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Eleven Reasons to Like Nyjer Morgan

1. It's a lot easier for a young pitcher like Ross Detwiler or Stephen Strasburg to transition to the majors getting three outs an inning rather than four.

2. His nickname in Pittsburgh was the "Mayor of Morgantown."

3. He made this play.

4. Comparisons to Nook Logan are woefully unfair to Morgan. Logan was an average centerfielder for the Nationals, putting up UZR/150 ratings of 3.2 and -1.8 in his two years here. UZR, Probabalistic Model of Range, and other advanced metrics all say Morgan will be one of the best CFs in the game. Plus, Nook's career OBP was .314., while Morgan's is .351. That's a function of Morgan's 8.1% K-rate, compared to Logan's 20.9% whiff rate.

5. He made this play.

6. He plays hockey.

7. He made this play look easy.

8. No more Dukes, Kearns, or Milledge in center.

9. He made this play and this play.

10. His range will help hide Dunn and Willingham's bad defense.

11. Jim Bowden never would have made this move. So if we're screwing up, it's at least a different kind of screwing up.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Reason 12: Bye bye Elijah Dukes.

Michael said...

Totally agree, spot on. The only thing I don't like about him is high rate of getting caught stealing. It's great to have a lead off man with an OBP above league average for change, but what good is it if he gets caught stealing more than a third of the time.

estuartj said...

I'm still not sold on Morgan's value vs Willie Harris. Not that Morgan isn't better, but how much better (and only 2 years younger) in exchange for Milledge?

for Michael, I am hoping that Morgan's CS rate will decline with a more "conservative" base stealing strategy in DC.

Steven said...

The sample sizes are small, but if Morgan really is 20 runs better than Harris in CF, that's a 2-win difference, which is equal to Dunn's entire value over replacement. Harris is good CF, and a great LF. Morgan is a great LF.

Michael said...

The thing about Morgan stealing bases is this. He was AWFUL in the minors up through AA. Then at AAA in 2007 and 2008, he was pretty good (62/83 in 480 plate appearances). It's hard to tell whether it was the basecoaching, his own instincts, or a combination of factors.

But yes, if he's batting leadoff with Nick, Ryan and Adam right behind him, they better not run him like they tried to in Pittsburgh.

Steven said...

I've heard Manny say on multiple occasions "if you give me someone like Nyger Morgan I'll run you out of the yard."

I think Morgan will run all day.

Michael said...

I wonder if the idea was to shore up the defense in the OF and move Dunn to 1B...meaning Nick Johnson's days as a Nat are numbered....or perhaps they're putting Dunn on the block...

Steven said...

Rizzo has said repeatedly that he wants good clubhouse guys who play good defense. I think Dunn, Willingham, Guzman, and Dukes are all on the block.

dcusimano123 said...

12. He doesn't suck.

Anonymous said...

Steven,

Don't you have to fire Manny Acta soon. Nothing is working and change for change sake is the only hope this team has. If they lose 115 games or more, baseball in DC will be set so far back that it will take decades to recover, to where it was in 2005 July if it ever can. Don't they have a responsibility shake up this clubhouse and try to turn 2009 around?

phil dunn said...

No more Dukes--period. Now in Syracuse, he will disappear just like Milledge. The housecleaning continues. The problem is that the replacements offer no hope.

Anonymous said...

Steven,

It is clear to me that Rizzo is not an Acta guy. Given that, if you agree, why not make the a change now and again in Oct if needed.

Anonymous said...

Manny Acta will never be fired. Bowden would still be the GM if he wasn't caught up in the DR scandal. Kasten and the Lerners are paralyzed. Further, to bring a competent GM and manager in would cost money.

Deacon Drake said...

Rizzo isn't necessarily shoving trade offers down people's throats, but the prudent thing to do is to listen to offers. There is no need for a fire sale, but the Nats do have several good pieces teams may need for a championship run. The key will be to listen... not jumping at the first offer.

Hendo said...

@estuartj: I'll miss Harris in center too, but am looking forward to more of him at 2B. (Now, what to do with Belliard?)

estuartj said...

Hendo, I don't think Willie Harris is an improvement on Anderson Hernandez. Willie is a great defensive OUTFIELDER, but I think (and the club seems to concur) that he is a liability as an infielder.

I'm guessing Willie and Johnson are traded, not sure if Belliard or Kearns we'll go before the end of the season. Kearns still has value as a defensive replacement, but I honestly think Belliard should be DFA'd in favor of an 8th bullpen arm. We don't need him as a back-up 1Bman because of Dunn (or do we if NJ is traded?).

Ollie said...

re: # 3

It's pretty impressive he racked up 500 saves while playing in centerfield.

hleeo3 said...

Nice one with #11, Steven. There is no screw up like a Bowden-like screw up. Just look at the Nationals when the season started. We would probably be still under 20 wins with Bowden as GM.

I get a feeling that next season's 25 man roster is going to be completely different. Presumably in a good way.

I can't help but like the addition of Nyjer Morgan. Despite what everyone is saying, the guy isn't "old". It's not like we trade to get Moises Alou. His glove will be very much appreciated on this team.