Make Or Break Year: Kendrys Morales

Kendrys Morales has proven himself as an above-average MLB hitter and he's still just 28 years old. He appeared in yesterday's Spring Training contest, but hasn't played in an official game since May 29th, 2010, the day he injured his left ankle in a walk-off home run celebration gone wrong. There are no guarantees for Morales as he attempts to complete his comeback. 

Kendrys Morales - Angels

Morales posted a .302/.353/.548 line with 95 extra base hits in 833 plate appearances during the 2009-10 seasons.  If he returns to form, he’ll essentially be Miguel Cabrera-lite.

But there’s a difference between appearing in a Spring Training game and contributing regularly at the Major League level. The initial fracture sidelined him for a year and he had to have his ankle cleaned out again last May. Even routine activities such as baserunning are more stressful for him than they are for other players.

If Morales comes close to replicating his MVP-caliber 2009 season, his career will finally be on track. He’ll have job security for 2013 and a obtain generous raise when he goes through the arbitration process for the final time next offseason.

However, if he struggles to stay on the field or fails to produce when he plays, there’s a good chance the Angels will cut ties with him by December's non-tender deadline. There would be no sense in guaranteeing Morales another $3MM at that point. And as appealing as free agency is to players coming off of strong seasons, Morales’ job prospects will be limited unless he stays healthy and hits.

For now, however, Morales is simply targeting Opening Day. If his ankle holds up and his swing returns, 2012 could be as rewarding as 2011 was frustrating.

Photo courtesy Icon SMI.

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15 Comments on "Make Or Break Year: Kendrys Morales"

3 years 5 months ago

I think “Break” is a poor choice of words here…

3 years 5 months ago

beat me to it. 

3 years 5 months ago

Not really agreeing with this article. He bursted onto the scene late, got hurt and is just now returning. That doesn’t spell make or break for me.

3 years 5 months ago

Morales was 24 when he had his break out year, and was also the first season where he was even given a chance to play everyday.

Most players don’t have the break out year that establishes the rest of their career until about 27.

At 28, this is definitely a make or break year for Kendrys Morales.

3 years 5 months ago

27? Where’d you get that from?

3 years 5 months ago

From over 20 years of watching this game.

But maybe a better way of putting it is most players have their break out year by the age of 27, or at least they should.

I went back and checked, and it turns out 2009 was Morales’ age 26 season; his b’day is in June.

Either way, it is still a make or break year because should MOrales prove to be healthy and produce, he’ll command a good raise and be in a position to either sign an extension or get a good contract with another team after 2013.

3 years 5 months ago

If Morales is healthy, this could be like adding 2 big sluggers in one offseason.

Additions this offseason:

Albert Pujols
Kendrys Morales
CJ Wilson
Chris Ianetta
LaTroy Hawkins
Jason Isringhausen
Jorge Cantu
Ryan Langerhans

Not bad.

3 years 5 months ago

Who’s the other big slugger I only see kendrys

3 years 5 months ago

Lance Parrish!

3 years 5 months ago

isringhausen duh

3 years 5 months ago

Vernon Wells

Devon Henry
3 years 5 months ago

Jeff Mathis

3 years 5 months ago

There’s one great player, one above average pitcher, and one question mark on your list. The rest won’t make a difference.

3 years 5 months ago

Kendrys is back, take it to the bank!

3 years 5 months ago

Personally, I think the Angels are a much scarier team in 2013 than 2012 with this potential lineup and rotation. Assuming Hunter and Abreu gone, Trout up and filling his potential, Kendrys returned to form, and Trumbo successfully transitioning to 3b. They have 4 25-30 homerun hitters in the 3-6 spots of the lineup and besides the Catcher spot, all great speed/contact hitters that can get on base and steal 20-40 bases. As a Tigers fan, I am not looking forward to facing this team in 2013 if Trout, Morales, and Trumbo all become what they are supposed to be in 2012.

RF Trout 
2b Kendrick 
1b) Pujols
DH) Morales 
3b/LF) Trumbo/Wells
LF/3b) Wells/Trumbo
C) Iannetta/Conger
SS) Aybar or top-prospect Segura if Aybar is not resigned.
CF) Bourjos

P) Weaver, Haren, Wilson, Santana, Signed 5th starter. Closer Walden