The Royals biggest source of power throughout the past two years has come in the form of DH Kendrys Morales. General manager Dayton Moore signed him to a two-year contract back in the 2014-2015 offseason. But, Morales can become a free-agent after the 2016 season.
The discussions have been swirling around as to what exactly the Kansas City Royals should do with the switch hitting Kendrys Morales in the offseason: should they resign him to a new contract or let him walk away and sign with another team? Kings of Kauffman Editor John Viril addressed this question a little over a week ago, but now I want to put in my two cents on the issue.
For a majority of the season, I had been a proponent of letting him walk and sign with another team, but as we delve deeper into the stats, the decision gets much more difficult.
Kendrys Morales enjoyed a season for the ages in 2015. He played a huge part in KC’s World Series victory and captured national attention because of his performance. Morales posted a .290/.362/.485 batting line, which, if you’re a novice at baseball statistics, is pretty damn good. He also drove in 106 runs (which, surprisingly, is not his career high) and took 22 trips to dong town throughout the season. So needless to say, hopes were high for Morales as he entered the 2016 season.
The big man got off to a rough start at the plate. Morales posted a .266/.280/.357 batting line in the month of April. While the team seemed to get off to a hot start in early April, a seemingly first-half long slump crept into the dugout. In May, Kendrys managed to hit just .163/.245/.304 in 92 at-bats. By the end of May, many Royals fans, including myself, were perplexed as to what was wrong with their star DH, and then June happened.
June of 2016 would prove costly to the team, but not to the Cuban slugger. In a seemingly overnight turnaround, the beloved Royal began to hit the ball—and hit the ball hard. In just 24 games and 87 at-bats, Morales doubled seven times, went yard five and drove in 18 runs. He also posted an OPS greater than 1.100. His final batting line for the month of June reads as a whopping .402/.453/.655.
The Second Half
Royals fans hoped that Morales had finally turned a corner on the season and would start to increase production (although I had hoped for him to continue hitting over four hundred). But, he quickly became a hollow shell of his June self. He reverted back to his May-ways. He fell to a batting line of .191/.280/.382 in July and struck out a season high twenty-six times in 89 at-bats.
August was a return to the status quo for Morales. But, September became another seemingly random turnaround. As of right now, he has raked in 29 RBIs in the month of September (which is just insane). Morales has also hit 8 homers this month. He has now become the first Royals player since Jermaine Dye in 2000 to hit 30+ HRs in a season.
So the question becomes: what should the Royals do with Kendrys Morales? While this is an opinion based question and really only matters to one person (GMDM), let me weigh in on this…