Throughout the course of a season, there is always a handful of players like Mike Morse that become available on waivers (Morse in fact passed through waivers himself in April 2009). The Nationals had traded outfielder Ryan Langerhans, another replacement type outfielder, to the Mariners last season for Morse and during September of last season he batted .262/.311/.524 in 45 PA for the Nationals. That line gained Morse the attention of many D.C. fans and his line this spring has augmented that attention. The question is, though, what is Morse's value to the Nationals?
So far this spring training Morse is 6 for 21 with a double and two home runs. He has been one of the few Nationals hitters to come out of the gates hot, but spring training numbers are less than reliable. During spring training 2008 for the Mariners, Morse put on a monster showing, but failed to carry it into the regular season before getting injured on a fielding play (more on this later). While his ST numbers are most likely a fluke right now, they do back up comments made by coaches that Morse stays in baseball shape nearly the whole year, always a plus, and provides one example of a reason why a player may excel in spring training. Expect his numbers to drop as spring progresses into summer.
At the plate, Morse is a pretty good hitter with average power. He does not take walks very often and his OBP (.355) for his major league career seems to be a bit too high compared to his minor league OBP (.329), which consists of nearly nine times as many plate appearances. He does not have much speed on the base paths (4 stolen bases in his career) and, if he was regular, would be a type of guy that batted towards the bottom of the lineup.