March 20, 2010

Top 50 Twins Prospects 2010: #6 Angel Morales

2010 Top 50 Twins Prospects | #6 | Angel Morales

Position | Outfield

Bats/Throws | Right/Right

Born | November 24, 1989 (Caguas, Puerto Rico)

| Puerto Rico Baseball Academy

| 6'1''

| 180 lbs.

2009 Ranking | 6

Angel Morales was taken in the third round of the 2007 draft out of the Puerto Rican Baseball Academy in Gurabo, Puerto Rico. He was originally thought to be a light-hitting outfielder with outstanding speed and great defense. But in just two-and-a-half short years, Morales has become one of the best power-hitting prospects the Twins have while maintaining great defense and his blazing speed.

After signing a $234,000 signing bonus, Morales was sent to the Gulf Coast League where he hit .256/.357/.405 in 38 games for the Twins. In 2008, Morales began the season in Extended Spring Training before joining the Elizabethton Twins in June. He appeared in 54 games with the Twins and hit .301/.413/.623 with 15 home runs but drove in just 28 runners. In 2009, Morales continued to move up the ladder, joining the Beloit Snappers for his first go-around in a full season league. He looked severely over-matched until he finally turned it on in July. He finished the season hitting .266/.329/.455 with 13 home runs in 376 at-bats.

Morales has as much potential as anyone in the organization, but he's equally as raw as he is talented. One thing that you must consider when evaluating a player like Morales is that he was playing in the Midwest League at 19-years-old, two years younger than the average age. Interestingly, he's almost two months younger than 2008 first round pick Aaron Hicks, whose plate discipline is light-years ahead of Morales'. His strikeout total is his biggest area of concern, but he's so young that it's hard to imagine that it won't improve at some point. Offensively, Morales reminds me of Alfonso Soriano while defensively I think that the Carlos Beltran comparisons fit nicely. Whether or not he actually comes close to reaching his potential is anyone's guess, but he's definitely a player worth keeping an eye on.

2009 Statistics
          Level       G    PA     AVG     OBP     SLG     XBH     HR   wRC+
          A-        115   418    .266    .329    .455      40     13    122

2010 Outlook

Morales turned things around in the second half of the season which along with his talent will likely ensure that he starts the 2010 season in Advanced-A Fort Myers. Given that the Florida State League is tough on hitters and that he's only 20-years-old, Morales will likely stay there for the entire season.


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