Sultan of swing (USAT)
I can understand why Mitch Moreland's name doesn't move the needle in a lot of roto circles. He's been a solid but somewhat forgettable bat over the last few years, a part-time power source with a so-so average and a platoon deficiency. In the typical mixer, you need to shoot for a higher upside.
That established, maybe Moreland's career arc is finally ready to pay the bill. Moreland is owned in just 21 percent of Yahoo! leagues as Closing Time goes to press - I'd like to see that number fixed over the next 24-48 hours.
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Moreland's power stroke has been on full display this month, as he's clouted six homers in his last nine games. He already has three taters in the Oakland series, including a pair Tuesday. He's carrying a .296/.347/.578 slash for the year, with nine homers over 39 games (that's a 37 pace). Those numbers at least force you to open the argument.
The Rangers have a different view of Moreland in 2013: they're letting him play against all kinds of pitching. While the obvious small-sample caveat applies, Moreland hasn't looked overmatched against left-handers, posting a .281/.333/.456 slash versus them. Ron Washington is viewing Moreland as a full-time player, and that's a game-changer in the mixed-league environment. Moreland has also nudged his strikeout and walk rates in the right direction, a key point to note (remember, he's no longer shielded from the platoon disadvantage).Read More »from Closing Time: The case for Mitch Moreland; Kenley Jansen closes up