05.30.05

Morales Feasts On California League Pitching

Posted in Baseball at 2:35 pm by

This jet-lagged correspondent caught Kendry Morales homering in his U.S. pro debut for Rancho Cucamonga last weekend, and the LA Daily News’ Joe Haakenson reports that the young slugger has yet to cool off.

Kendry Morales is making a good first impression on the Angels’ organization. Going into Sunday’s game, Morales was hitting .343 with two homers, seven RBI and a .571 slugging percentage in eight games at Single-A Rancho Cucamonga. He struck out only four times in 35 at-bats.
How soon the 21-year-old Cuban defector rises through the ranks of the organization remains to be seen.

“It’s a daily evaluation of him,” said Tony Reagins, the Angels’ director of player development. “The coaching staff, the rovers, the front-office staff will see him as much as possible to see when is the right time to move him. Right now, there’s no timetable.”

Reagins would not rule out Morales reaching the big leagues this season.

“Anything could happen in this game,” he said. “If he shows progress that warrants him being here, he’ll be here. But to say it’ll be next month, or in two months, I don’t know if that’s fair to say.”

Morales (above) has been playing first base for the Quakes, but he also can play third base and the outfield. His biggest adjustment has been off the field.

“He does things fluidly and has power to all fields,” Reagins said. “But he’s still getting acclimated to the States. The language barrier is something he has to get comfortable with. He speaks almost no English. It’s just a different environment for him.”

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