June 22, 2011
Just in case you didn't see the massive Luzinskian bomb that Mitch Moreland(notes) hit on Monday night, here's the clip. That thing was destroyed. It traveled an estimated 471 feet, landing deep in the second deck, where fans don't usually bother to wear gloves.
By comparison, the upper deck game-ending shot Moreland hit on Tuesday didn't seem as impressive, though it was certainly more meaningful for the Rangers. That blast landed 417 feet away from home plate. It was actually the shortest homer Moreland has hit this season, yet the ball still made it to the fourth row of the second level. His average home run distance is now 430.6 feet, according to Hit Tracker.
So yeah, Moreland has some pop. He's bashed 10 homers this season, while delivering a respectable slash-line of .294/.355/.489 over 245 plate appearances.
Moreland remains only 43 percent-owned in Yahoo! leagues, despite the useful numbers and the friendly home park. His low ownership level really tells you something about the depth of talent at the spots he's eligible to fill in fantasy; he doesn't currently rank among the top-15 first basemen, nor among the top-40 outfielders. But if you're looking for a 6-8 week replacement for the injured Albert Pujols(notes), give Moreland serious consideration. There should be no remaining doubts about his power.
Moreland obviously has his flaws, as do most widely available players. His career line against left-handed pitchers is just .210/.297/.247 in 91 PAs, and he's managed just three extra-base hits (all doubles) against southpaws. His lifetime OPS is .921 at home and .776 on the road. But when he steps in against a righty in Arlington, look alive — even if you're seated in the back row, in the park's worst section. Mitch can find you.
Photo via US Presswire