Coming Into The Season
Morse had a very nice season in 2010 in part-time playing time, hitting .289 with 15 home runs in 98 games. However, it remained to be seen whether the Nationals would give him a shot at a full-time job after signing free agents Adam LaRoche and Jayson Werth. As a result, ESPN ranked Morse #36 in their preseason 1B rankings, and #89 in the preseason outfielder rankings. He looked like a potential nice source of power in deeper leagues, but might not have had a ton of value in mixed leagues if he wasn't going to get the playing time.
His Performance To Date
With the injury early in the season to LaRoche, Morse has been playing 1B every day, and taken full advantage. He is hitting .299/.348/.545 with 15 home runs, 46 runs batted in, 34 runs scored, and 2 stolen bases. He is currently ranked #12 at first base and #22 in the outfield by Yahoo.
Can He Continue This Performance?
Morse's peripheral numbers are mostly within range of the numbers he put up last season, so I'm inclined to believe he can continue his performance. LaRoche is out for the season, so Morse should remain the everyday first baseman, and I think he could get to 30 home runs and 100 runs batted in, even if his batting average falls slightly. Of a bit of concern to me is that his walk rate is at 5%, which is down from 7% last year, but I don't think this will have a huge impact on his numbers. For a player you most likely got off of the free agent heap, he's been nothing short of excellent, and there's no reason to think he couldn't continue this into the future.
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