Dumping Justin Morneau

Justin Morneau has 26 home runs in his past 270 games played, which over 162 games would be a measly 16 long balls. For a first baseman, that just does not cut it. Yet still, Morneau is owned in 58% of Yahoo leagues.

While his RBI totals have not been bad and he still nets a 100 wRC+, the guy just does not have the skills he once had and is a drag on your first base slot if you throw him out there every week. He currently ranks 24 in wRC+ so even though he has been league average, everyone knows and understands the quality of first basemen around the league and that the fantasy worthwhile first basemen hit well above Morneau’s current levels.

It seems like, much similar to Dan Haren, that people are holding onto him due to his past. That past is far from relevant when you see how much he has struggled over his past three years. His average is okay, as is his on base percentage, but he just lacks the power he once had likely for a variety of reasons. This is now his third consecutive year with his HR/FB rate below his career average and his second of the three with a mark lower than 4%. Even if that does rise, the expectation that he will provide value with his power going forward should not be very high.

ZiPs has Morneau at seven home runs for the rest of the year, as does Steamer. Both also have him with a lower average going forward and reaching 70-80 RBI for the season. So what is the reason to hold onto him at this point? Hope he has a couple hot stretches and you can trade him? There simply is not much left to like about Morneau anymore.

It is sad, because he once was one of the premier talents at the position and was a model of consistency. Unfortunately, players age and deteriorate and their fantasy usefulness does as well. With that said, it is time to part ways with Morneau and look for a more worthwhile option. Here is a hint, there are plenty.

We hoped you liked reading Dumping Justin Morneau by Ben Duronio!

Please support FanGraphs by becoming a member. We publish thousands of articles a year, host multiple podcasts, and have an ever growing database of baseball stats.

FanGraphs does not have a paywall. With your membership, we can continue to offer the content you've come to rely on and add to our unique baseball coverage.

Support FanGraphs




Ben has been at RotoGraphs since 2012 and focuses most of his fantasy baseball attention toward dynasty and keeper leagues.

newest oldest most voted
John G.
Guest
John G.

Well, I am not sure what leagues this might be meant for, but the 14-team keeper league I am in starts a 1B and CI. The next possible options on Waiver are Garret Jones, Chris Johnson, Colvin and a large number of other unstartables on pace for far less production than Morneau, soooo maybe that is why the ownership is as high as it is?

Will H.
Guest
Will H.

Garret Jones is typically a very good option if you have an extra bench slot to stream him and another lefty. This year he’s a bit off, but that is a small sample versus his normally productive PAs versus righties.

John G.
Guest
John G.

Right…a bench bat. He doesn’t get enough every day at bats. If you have to start 42 corner infielders in the league…how can you question Morneau being rostered and a starter? Hence the reason I questioned this piece.

Clifford
Guest
Clifford

Ryan Howard, Michael Young, Ryan Zimmerman, Adam LaRoche, Freddie Freeman, David Wright, David Murphy, Allen Craig, David Freese, Aramis Ramirez, Joey Votto, Todd Frazier, Anthony Rizzo, Nolan Arenado, Kyle Blanks, Yonder Alonso, Chase Headley, Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval, Brandon Belt, Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, Paul Goldschmidt, Martin Prado, Mike Napoli, Mike Carp, Chris Davis, Manny Machado, Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Lind, Evan Longoria, Paul Konerko, Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Joe Mauer, Mark Reynolds, Nick Swisher, Carlos Santana, Eric Hosmer, Billy Butler, Mitch Moreland, Adrian Beltre, Albert Pujols, Mark Trumbo, Kyle Seager, Kendrys Morales, Michael Morse, Matt Dominguez, Brandon Moss, Josh Donaldson

that’s at least 50 CI guys I would take over Morneau in a heartbeat. And those were just the ones I thought of off the top of my head. I KNOW I missed some more as well. He stinks. Doesn’t give you power or batting average or speed or upside or good run totals. Nothing but .270/15/75. Sorry, just not very exciting.