Kendrys Morales, DH, Toronto Blue Jays, #8
Date of Birth: 6/20/1983
Birthplace: Fomento, Cuba
Kendrys Morales, designated hitter for the Toronto Blue Jays, started his baseball career in Cuba, playing on Cuba's national team at the age of 18. He left Cuba for the United States in 2004 after being banned from Cuban baseball due to his earlier efforts to leave the country. Morales then went to the Dominican Republic and while there signed a six year contract with the Los Angeles Angels at the end of 2004.
After playing with the Angels' minor league teams in 2005, Morales had his first at-bat in a Los Angeles Angels uniform in 2006, joining the team for 57 games that season. From 2006 through 2008, Morales played primarily with the Angels' minor league teams, appearing in 127 games with the Angels over that three year period. He finished his minor league career with 405 hits, 234 RBIs, and a .332 batting average in 309 games.
In 2009, Morales had big shoes to fill when he replaced Mark Teixeira at first base for the Los Angeles Angels and he proved himself up to the task. In his first full season with the Angels, Morales batted .306 with 173 hits, 43 doubles, 34 home runs, and 108 RBIs in 152 games. As a first baseman, he made 86 assists, 1,274 putouts, 145 double plays, and 8 errors. He finished the 2009 season with a .994 fielding percentage.
On May 29, 2010, after a good start to the season, Morales broke his leg and he missed the rest of the 2010 season and all of the 2011 season. He played with the Angels in 2012 but they traded him to the Seattle Mariners in December of that year. In 2013, he batted .277 with 167 hits, 34 doubles, 23 home runs, and 80 RBIs in 156 games.
Morales signed a one-year contract with the Minnesota Twins on June 8, 2014, However, he didn't stay long with the Twins. On July 24, 2014, he was traded back to the Mariners. He finished the 2014 season with 80 hits, 20 doubles, and a .218 batting average in 39 games with the Twins and 59 games with the Mariners.
Morales signed a two-year, $17 million contract with the Kansas City Royals on December 11, 2014. He had a strong 2015 season, winning his first Silver Slugger award and the Edgar Martinez award as the American League's outstanding DH. On September 20th, he tied a Royals record when he hit three home runs in one game. That day, he had 3 home runs, 1 triple, and 1 walk in 5 at-bats.
Morales finished the 2015 regular season with 165 hits, 41 doubles, 22 home runs, 106 RBIs, and a .290 batting average in 158 games. In postseason play, he batted .255 with 13 hits, including 4 home runs, and 10 RBIs in 51 at-bats in 16 games.
In 154 games in 2016, Morales batted .263 with 147 hits, 24 doubles, 30 home runs, and 93 RBIs.
Morales signed a three-year contract with the Blue Jays on November 18, 2016. He finished the 2017 season with 139 hits, 25 doubles, 28 home runs, 85 RBIs, and 132 strikeouts to 43 walks in 150 games. He batted .250. He was the Blue Jays' DH for most of the season, playing just 12 games at first base.
Career batting statistics for Morales through 2017 include:
- 1,180 games played
- 1,153 hits
- 240 doubles
- 190 home runs
- 671 RBIs
- 857 strikeouts to 341 walks
- .270 batting average
Career fielding statistics for Morales at first base through 2017 include:
- 398 games played
- 204 assists
- 318 double plays
- 3,205 putouts
- 19 errors
- .994 fielding percentage
Morales played as Kendry Morales through 2010.
Morales and his wife Yarley have two children.