30 Players in 30 Days: Nyjer Morgan

While Nationals Park may be empty and the players are back home with their families, Notes from NatsTown does not take a break just because the season is over. We’re here to give you your Nationals fix to hold you over until next spring. Starting today, we will run 30 Players in 30 Days, a feature which highlights members of the Nationals and their achievements this season. Tune in each weekday to see who we cover next!

First up, center fielder Nyjer Morgan


nyjer morgan1.JPGNyjer Morgan sprinted his way around the bases and into the hearts of the citizens of NatsTown when he was acquired from the Pittsburg Pirates in a trade on June 30. His dazzling plays in center field and flamboyant alter-ego, Tony Plush, brought life to the team both in the clubhouse and on the field.

The trade for Nyjer Morgan, one of GM Mike Rizzo’s biggest and best moves of the season, filled two of the Nationals’ biggest holes: a ground-covering center fielder and speed on the basepaths. Morgan’s range and speed allowed him to get to balls which routinely had fallen for hits in the past. He is essentially a younger version of Juan Pierre–a contact hitter with blazing speed and who fields his position well. According to his Ultimate Zone Rating, a defensive stat which tries to quantify the number of runs a player saves above a replacement player factoring in arm strength, range and defense, Morgan saved 27.4 runs this season–second most among all Major League outfielders.

 
nyjer morgan4.JPGMorgan’s time with the Nationals was limited this year as he was sidelined with a broken hand after 49 games. That didn’t keep him from ranking second in the National League with 42 stolen bases.  Yet he was caught 17 times, making his success rate 71%. The breakeven rate for stolen bases is 75%, meaning that, while Morgan’s mad dashes around the bases were exciting, he hurt the team’s ability to score runs a few times. He is not that far off and can improve if he just learns to pick his spots better which will come with more experience. Remember, this season was Morgan’s first full year in the Majors.

In his time with the Nationals, Morgan also exploded offensively. In Washington, he hit .351/.396/.435 as opposed to his Pittsburgh output of .277/.351/.356. He hits fastballs at an exceedingly high clip. However, he has trouble with off-speed pitches, something he can work on during the offseason.


 
nyjer morgan3.JPGWhile Morgan may make some appearances at hockey rinks this offseason, NatsTown is eagerly awaiting his  return next spring. Though he only played for just under two months, it was clear that he is just what the Nationals need to succeed. In games where Morgan played, the Nationals went 23-26 (.469) versus 36-77 (.319) in games where he didn’t play. The prognosis on his wrist injury is good and Tony Plush, or Nyjer Morgan, should be as ready as ever come Spring Training. 

Nyjer Morgan Final Stats

G

AB

R

H

TB

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

IBB

SO

SB

CS

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

120

469

74

144

182

15

7

3

39

40

2

74

42

17

.307

.369

.388

.757

 
nyjer morgan2.JPG
 

1 Comment

I hope he stays for a long time. he is going to be one of the reasons the nats will step it up one day.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 562 other followers

%d bloggers like this: