2012 Fantasy Baseball Analysis: Breaking Down Kendrys Morales, Angels

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A lot of success in life comes with a direct correlation to opportunity. Every industry has an ingrained, institutionalized, structure that includes gatekeepers and barriers to entry. If you're reading this you've likely thought at some point in your life, how great it would be to make your living as a sports agent. “Show me the money,” you screamed into the mirror, after slicking back your hair and pretending to order a $45 salad. You should be Scott Boras, you just negotiated circles around that guy who sold you his bike on Craigslist.

In reality you didn't make 10% of Albert Pujols new $250 million dollar contract. Could you have convinced deep pockets Angels owner Arte Moreno, dying to make a splash and steal some of the disillusioned Dodgers fans, to shell out for the offseason's biggest name? Probably, but you didn't have that opportunity because you didn't know Albert Pujols when he was an afterthought, drafted in the 13th round.

But Kendrys Morales has an opportunity to benefit from Albert Pujols and you in turn, could benefit from Morales. Remember Morales? Big time slugger who hit 34 home runs in 2009 with a .569 slugging percentage, .306 average and 108 RBIs? You'd be forgiven for forgetting, since he hasn't played since busting his left ankle jumping onto home plate during a celebration of a walk-off home run of all things. Seriously Kendrys, its called milk, try some.

Morales is back. He's running bases already and by all indications will be with the Angels to start the 2012 season. What a situation to return to, with Albert Pujols anchoring the line-up and the emergence of Mark Trumbo - who hit 29 home runs as a rookie in 2011 - along with a full season of much heralded prospect, Mike Trout. The opportunity is there for Morales to drive in 100+ RBIs.

The big question is whether or not Morales will get 500+ at bats. His current ADP is 221, due to the risk that Morales will have limited chances to hit. The current scuttlebutt around the Angels line-up is that Morales will be in the DH mix, with Trumbo taking over third base and Pujols bringing his usual gold glove defense to first base. In that configuration, Morales' biggest competition for DH ABs will be Bobby Abreu. Abreu hit .253/.353/.365 with 8 HRs and 60 RBIs in 2011. Morales should be able to beat him out, even if he's slow recovering from the ankle injury.

Morales was on a 30+ home run pace in 2010 before the fluke injury. The power is there, to slug greater than .500 and drive in tons of runs, in a much improved Angels line-up. Bill James projects .296/.341/.504 over 539 ABs with 24 HRs and 86 RBIs. Fangraphs says .286/.348/.474 with 20 HRs and 67 RBIs in 461 ABs. That's a steal in the 18-20 round range in 12 team drafts, an opportunity that you don't want to let pass by. 

Written by Ryan Coombs exclusively for Follow Ryan on Twitter @RMCoombs

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