Do you believe in Kendrys Morales?
I know that I didn’t until this year. I consistently thought he was a decent option, but not someone I would ever target for my team. Through his incessant love of Kendrys, my fellow writer Chris opened my eyes to how much value Morales has. Kendrys’ freak broken ankle suffered when he landed on home plate after a walk off home run caused him to miss most of his age 27 season and all of his age 28 season. Those are years when hitters are entering their prime and they put up their gaudiest numbers. Morales didn’t get the chance to do that.
In 2010, when he suffered his broken ankle, he was on pace to hit about 35 home runs and drive in 124 runs. When he came back in 2012, after missing the entire 2011 season, he appeared in 134 games and logged 484 at bats. During the 2012 season, he posted a .273/.320/.467 slash line and hit 22 home runs. His production wasn’t quite to the level he was at in the 2009 or the first part of the 2010 season, but remember he did miss an entire season.
This year he has a .279/.339/.462 slash line and is rocking a 127 OPS+. And all of this is in the bad hitting environment of Seattle’s Safeco Field. He’s actually hitting better at home than on the road. At home he has a .850 OPS and on the road his OPS is .753. Morales did get off to a slow start this season. He only hit .250 in the month of April. Since May 1, Morales’ slash line is .292/.335/.494. Of the 13 home runs Morales has hit this season, 10 of them have come after May 1. Right now he’s on pace to hit 25 home runs and drive in 98 runs.
I know that first base is very deep this season. In fact, Morales is currently number 17 on ESPN’s Player Rater. There are a few guys ahead of him on the Player Rater that I would swap for Kendrys for the rest of the season.
- James Loney – Loney will probably continue to deliver a solid average and on base percentage, but I prefer the counting stats that Morales will give you. And it’s not like Morales will hurt you in batting average.
- Michael Cuddyer – Cuddyer is having a career season as we head into the All Star break. He’s currently hitting .335 and he’s a career .275 hitter. I think he’s closer to his career numbers the rest of the way.
- Eric Hosmer – I want to believe that he’s turned his game around, but I wouldn’t bet my fantasy league on it.