KC Royals Rumors: Kendrys Morales In The Display Case
By John Viril
KC Royals manager Ned Yost gave first baseman Eric Hosmer the day off, switching him with designated hitter Kendrys Morales. With Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton contemplating both buying and selling at the trade deadline, the move suggests Moore’s showing suitors that Morales isn’t just a DH.
Kendrys Morales appearance at first base on Sunday was no accident, no matter what the KC Royals might want you to think. According to Sports Rag insider Jon Heyman, a Kansas City source told him that the team is preparing “on both fronts” at the deadline. Morales is one of three current players on the Kansas CIty Royals roster who will become free agents next winter along with reliever Luke Hochevar and starter Edinson Volquez.
Morales is a possibly valuable asset in that he’s a power hitter who hits from both sides of the plate. His biggest limitation is that many perceive him to be nothing more than a DH, which limits half his market. By playing him at first base on Sunday, Moore is reminding the market that Morales can play in the field, making him a candidate for National League teams looking for some pop from first base.
Morales can also play a little as a corner outfielder as he showed in June, but he’s not a guy you want to play there on a regular basis.
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What’s interesting is that Morales seems to hit better when he also plays the field. On Sunday, Morales went 3 for 3 with a home run and a double. During the KC Royals six game National League trip in June in which he played in right field, Morales hit .577/.607/1.154 with 3 doubles, 4 home runs, and 10 RBIs.
Morales helped out his case to play first base on Sunday, with two nice picks on throws from Kansas City Royals infielders. Really, Morales is more than playable at first.
Overall, Morales has overcome a horrible start by slashing .331/.399/.589 since June 1. Overall, Morales is hitting a solid .257/.325/.450 with 15 doubles, 16 home runs, and 49 RBIs. Plus, as a switch hitter, he could help balance out a lot of lineups.
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Even as a rental, Morales could draw at least one prime (say B grade) prospect, plus a C+ guy in trade. I don’t think any KC Royals fans wants to see the front office give up on the season, but if the team plays poorly in the final week before the trade deadline, such a price could prove too tempting to pass up.