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2011 Fantasy Projection No. 63: Will Angels Kendry Morales Be Ready Opening Day?

ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 16:  Kendry Morales #8 the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim bats against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium on May 16, 2010 in Anaheim, California. The Angels defeated the Athletics 4-0.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Nick KappelAnalyst IIIMarch 5, 2011

Our 2011 fantasy baseball projections will be released one-by-one until the top 100 players have been revealed. These rankings consider past achievements, current performance and expected future results based on standard 5×5 H2H settings.

One of the biggest questions on fantasy managers’ minds heading into 2011 is the status of Angels’ first baseman Kendry Morales.

Although Morales expressed uncertainty about being ready for Opening Day to a reporter two weeks ago, Mike Scioscia recently said he’s “comfortable” with Morales being ready to start the season March 31.

We’ll optimistically take Scioscia for his word in projecting Morales for 2011, but if he doesn’t see any live action in the next two weeks, we may start to worry.

Morales finally broke free of his post-hype sleeper tag in 2009, raking 34 HRs and 108 RBI while hitting .306. He was on pace for another stellar year in 2010 (11 HRs, 39 RBI, .290 in 51 games) before he broke his leg celebrating a walk-off grand slam on May 29.

Though he doesn’t walk much for a slugger (7.4 percent in 2009, 5.7 percent in 2010), he doesn’t strike out much either, relatively speaking (20.7 percent in 2009, 16.1 percent in 2010).

His contact rate (78.8 percent in 2009, 79.8 percent in 2010) is a hair below the league average, but good for a player who hits so many home runs.

Given his spot in the Angels’ lineup as the No. 3 hitter behind Erick Aybar and Bobby Abreu, and in front of Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells, Morales should be in for another 30/100/.300 season.

This, of course, is assuming he’s in the lineup on Opening Day. Keep an eye on this situation as the spring progresses.

 PARHRRBISBAVG
2010 stats2112911390.290
2011 FBI Forecast62090341000.298

 

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