Is Morse for real?
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Unless you are a regular watcher of the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and other early morning programming you may not have seen a single at-bat by the American league home run leader - Seattle's Michael Morse.

Morse has already hit four homers this season (he's tied with Baltimore's Chris Davis) despite a move in the offseason to a new team and a new league.

The move wasn't supposed to be a good one for Morse's power statistics as he's now going to play half his games in what has always been known as a pitcher- friendly park - Safeco Field.

In fact, the outfielder had a "couple of cups of coffee" with the Mariners between 2005-08 and hit all of three homers in 300 at-bats (1 every 100 at- bats).

However, after spending four years in Washington, Morse has returned to Seattle as a power hitter who blasted 49 homers over the past two seasons (1 every 18.9 at-bats). And that was while missing the first two months of the 2012 season with a strained lat muscle.

His return to the great Northwest was well timed with the Mariners' front office deciding to move the fences in at Safeco. That's probably because Seattle could only manage 56 homers in 81 home games last season while hitting 93 on the road with a batting average 27 points higher.

So management moved the fences up in left field by as much as 17 feet at different points and four feet from straight center to the right-center gap. They also lowered the fences in left to eight feet - from 16 feet high last season.

As you can imagine that was a great new development for a guy named "The Beast." Morse doesn't steal bases, he doesn't bunt and he doesn't walk a lot. What he does is hit the ball a long way.

Fantasy owners who were watching during spring training got a glimpse of what Morse could do as he belted nine homers in Cactus League play while batting .357.

With that as a background, it's no surprise that the experts at the Sports Network projected Morse to hit 28 home runs in 2013. But even we are impressed with how well he's gotten out of the gate. Morse has never been a quick starter with career numbers for April of .234 with a .672 OPS.

This bodes very well for his season-long numbers and fantasy owners who "stole" him in the 15th round (Yahoo ADP 176). Apparently too many owners saw the 18 homers in 2012 and the move to Seattle and crossed him off their rankings.

Big mistake! Huge mistake!

Morse is going to be a major factor in fantasy power categories all season long. For those who drafted him ... enjoy the ride.




Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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