The Los Angeles/California/Anaheim Angels have played almost 60 seasons of baseball. As the baseball world is suspended due to circumstances outside its control, it is time to look back at the history of this organization. There have been many talented players to put on the uniform, and we at Crashing the Pearly Gates wish to highlight the best who have ever represented the Angels. Without further ado, here we go!
#72 – Kendrys Morales
The Angels’ own Cuban Missile, Kendrys was the power hitting first baseman for the Angels from 2006–2012. After being part time in his early career, he put it into high gear in 2009 after Mark Texeria left for the MFY. That year he placed 5th in AL MVP voting, boasting a 139 OPS+, .924 OPS, and 34 home runs. At just 26, he looked to be the 1B for years to come.
But that play in 2010 happened instead. I know that the sad parts of this franchise is painful, and during these trying time we do not want to think about it, but I can’t ignore what happened at home plate in 2010. If you really want to watch, here it is. He looked to have another top 10 finish in the MVP race, with 11 home runs in 51 games and a 129 OPS+. But that injury forced him to miss all of 2011. That injury changed the franchise in ways still felt today.
Despite missing an entire year, he came back strong as the 1B/DH to compliment Pujols, posting a 119 OPS+ and hitting 22 home runs. Over a career of 6 seasons and 7 years, Kendrys did well for himself, posting 7.8 BWAR, good enough for 44th place in Angels history. His 79 home runs rank 24th, and his AB/HR is 9th best on the team. A slugging of .491 makes him the 6th best slugger in Angles history according to that stat, 9th best OPS which makes his OPS+ 119. That is tied for 12th.
While he never reached his full potential, he still ended up playing a long career, although much of that ended up on other teams. For the Angels, it is always, “What could have been?”
Quickly became a fan favorite with his nice swing and obvious passion for the game.
Was at home on his fateful day. Game was won with a fly ball, but it carried on a warm afternoon. Most regrettable grand slam in baseball history.
The Kendrys game was on my birthday on May 29, 2010. I was sitting in the 400 section over home plate. Never had a mood gone so quickly from elation to devastation.
I still cringe whenever I see someone jumping on home plate.
A reminder to play it safe out there. Even stepping off a ladder the wrong way can cause a long-time problem, let alone bouncing onto to home plate.
Or falling down some stairs. Or sliding into first base.