Fantasy Baseball StockWatch: Padres SP Brandon Morrow
So Padres pitcher Brandon Morrow threw four scoreless innings Monday in his latest bid for a rotation spot. Needless to say, the job should be his to lose at this point.
Should Morrow win the spot, what will be provide to fantasy baseball owners? Let’s go over a few key checkpoints:
High strikeout rate? Check.
Good ballpark? Check.
Moving from AL to NL? Check.
Good team around him? Check.
Morrow would benefit from pitching in one of the best pitcher’s parks in baseball for what should be a contending team and would be facing many fifth starters. His stuff is perfect for Petco Park as well, since he’s basically a strikeout-or-flyball pitcher. The thing that’s always hurt him has been walks (career 4.2 BB/9), but moving to the NL and facing pitchers could cure some of that.
The last time he was truly healthy all year (2011) is what should entice fantasy owners with a late-round pick: He had a 3.53 xFIP and a 10.2 K/9 pitching in Toronto’s hitter’s paradise. We currently have the 30-year-old projected at 121 IP with an 8.2 K/9 and 3.89 xFIP, but that projection could rise even more as the season gets closer.
Sure, there are legitimate worries. His walk rate has always been too high (though that did come down quite a bit in 2012 before injuries started derailing him) and the Padres quite literally have five other pitchers who may need to see rotation time at some point. Josh Johnson and Cory Luebke are making their way back from elbow surgeries, while Robbie Erlin and top prospects Matt Wisler and Casey Kelly will be waiting in Triple-A.
It’s worth taking a flier on Morrow for the home run potential. He could pitch like an ace and you got him with your last pick int he draft.