The Kansas City Royals need a power hitter. Despite their postseason run, that glaring need reared it’s ugly head in the World Series, as the Royals were unable to get that game changing hit. Perhaps it is not surprising that the Royals have been linked to players like Torii Hunter, who, despite their advancing age, still have a slight bit of power left.
It is that quest for a power hitter that now has the Royals listed as a possible destination for free agent first baseman/designated hitter Kendrys Morales. According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports, the Royals are one of five teams that are considered to be suitors for Morales’ services.
While Kendrys Morales has a history of being a productive power hitter, hitting over 20 home runs three times from 2009 through 2013, it may be fair to wonder if he is still that player. Granted, he lost the first two months of the season when he was left unsigned in free agency after rejecting the qualifying offer, but Morales did not exactly impress upon his return. Last year, between the Minnesota Twins and the Seattle Mariners, Morales produced a .218/.274/.338 batting line, hitting only eight home runs in 401 plate appearances.
Call to the Pen
Now, those overall numbers could be deceiving. After all, Morales could have gone on a hot streak at the end of the season once he got used to playing once again. However, when traded to the Mariners as Seattle tried to make a playoff push, he continued to sputter along. Yes, Morales did hit seven of his eight home runs in Seattle, but he also hit at a woeful .207/.285/.347 rate. Is that really the type of player that can make a difference for the Royals in 2015?
There were definitely mitigating circumstances when it came to Morales’ performance last season, especially due to the lack of offers he received in free agency. Perhaps with a full Spring Training and an offseason where he is in a major league camp, instead of working out on his own, Kendrys Morales can resemble the player he was over the previous four seasons, instead of the shadow of himself that he was in 2014.
As a low risk, high reward signing, Kendrys Morales may be an interesting pickup. However, for the type of contract that he may get, the Royals would be better off finding another option as their designated hitter.