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Is Hunter Morris A Better Option At First Base?

Watching the Brewers first base saga has been extremely painful and I believe that the answer is already in the farm system.  Hunter Morris has been mentioned on several occasions as a platoon option with Juan Francisco, but I for one would like to see him given the job on a full-time basis.

In 2012 at AA Huntsville, Morris hit .303 with with a .920 OPS and clubbed a reasonable 28 HR’s.  Comparing that with Scooter Gennett (.293 BA and .714 OPS with 5 HR’s) over the same period, Morris performed admirably.  Admittedly, the 2013 season down on the farm wasn’t quite so stellar for Morris, but he still hit a team-high 24 HR’s among a total of 53 extra-base hits, on what was frankly a horrible Nashville Sounds club.  Gennett and Morris were a strong pairing at the right side of the infield in the minors and Morris brings a .992 fielding percentage and decent range in the field, certainly stronger than that of the only other option – Francisco.

The Brew Crew saw the benefits of calling up strong performers from the minors last season; Segura, Gennett and Davis have all shown their potential to hit in the majors and given the train wreck at first base last season it has got to be worth a shot.  I’m not inspired by Francisco. He had ample opportunity to take control of the position in 2013 and isn’t setting the world on fire in Dominican League Winter Ball – batting .260 and playing third base. I think he will be a good back up at the corners, as Ramirez will probably play a maximum 120 games in 2014. Morris will need time to settle in, but Francisco isn’t a long-term option and Morris certainly could be.

Initially, I would have liked to see Hart re-sign. Loney would have also been a good fit, despite a lack of power.  However, outside of providing Kendrys Morales with a crippling long-term contract, the free agent market hasn’t done the Brewers any favors. There really isn’t any options left in free agency…Wilson Betemit or Shelley Duncan anybody?  Furthermore, I don’t want to see a trade to fill the gap. Everyone knows the Brewers are getting desperate, so the price is steadily increasing. I strongly believe that Tyler Thornburg is far too high a price to pay for mediocre first basemen like Ike DavisMitch Moreland or Lucas Duda. Especially when the Brewers have a clear in-house candidate who will almost certainly be an upgrade on the 2013 team.

Morris was widely accepted as the Brewers first baseman of the future twelve months ago and I personally believe that one mediocre year at Nashville hasn’t changed that.  The New York Mets will still be shopping first baseman in a few months and probably for a cheaper price, but the Brewers shouldn’t give up a high-potential pitching prospect before giving Morris a chance to show he is the long-term option at first base.

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  • Metstheory22

    I think if money was not an issue, they would be targets. I think lower payed players are the targets, such as P. Bourjos, Revere maybe even Trumbo if Angels make him available as I have read.

  • http://twitter.com/mmusico8 Matt Musico

    That’s the million dollar question. I picked these two OF because I’ve also read in a few different places that they could become available/it could be something Sandy may pursue.

    I agree with the three other options you listed for “cheap” OF…if Trumbo became available, which I think the Angels would be silly if they did so, would command a package from an opposing team that Alderson may not be willing to part with. These other options do make an interesting case for another article, so thanks! And thanks for reading, we really appreciate it.

  • http://thebrooklyntrolleyblogger.blogspot.com/ MikeLecolant.BTB

    I’m almost at the point where if the Mets aren’t willing to pay even a slight premium for an outfielder, then just go with the kids we have in the minors and stop blowing smoke up our…. I don’t see where their math adds up. The Mets will have to go beyond $100 million this season just to keep the status-quo.

  • Hermie13

    Hate to break it to you, but Choo is going to be arbitration eligible for the 3rd time this winter and is a free agent next year, not after 2014.

    Willingham was obviously better, but don’t think you should compare their “production”. Choo hit leadoff for most of the season so he shouldn’t have produced as much as Willingham who was hitting in the heart of a lineup. Choo did post the 2nd highest OBP of all qualified leadoff hitters this year behind only Mike Trout. Choo and Willingham are two completely different types of hitters, if you want a power threat/middle of the order guy Willingham is the better bet, but if you want a leadoff hitter who has pop then Choo is your guy. Choo is also better defensively though isn’t that great (great arm makes up for lack of range). Can also play RF whereas Willingham struggles in LF. Willingham having an extra year before free agency makes him the better get, though the much tougher get…

  • Bernaldo

    if the Mets are serious about Willingham, they better be ready to offer BOTH Wheeler and Harvey! If the Twins move Willlingham it will only be for high ceiling starting pitchers who are either MLB ready or on fast tracks to the big leagues. If the Twins do slash payroll, it won’t be the team friendly deal that Willingham has and besides, ownership has already said that it will again be in the $90-100 million range.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joe-Valenti/1234560796 Joe Valenti

      Both Wheeler and Harvey? Are you high?

  • Jeff

    It sound like. Who on first what on 2B and so on. The Milwaukee need do some thing before the season start.

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