Sunday, March 7, 2010

Player Spotlights - David Aardsma and Kendry Morales

David Aardsma and Kendry Morales March 7, 2010

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RP David Aardsma,Mariners, Drafted by the San Francisco Giants in 2003, David Aardsma progressed rapidly to the AAA, where he was being groomed as the clubs future closer. In 2004, he saved 11 games for AAA Fresno, but struggled with his control. That same year, he made it to the Giants, but continued to have trouble pitching strikes in his limited debut. From 2005-2008, Aardsma bounced between the minor and major league teams of 4 different organizations with erratic results. After seizing the closer assignment for Seattle in 2009, the 27 year old pitcher was finally able to produce a noteworthy season, with 28 saves, an ERA of 2.52 and a WHIP of 1.164. Aardsma has decent stuff, and his pitch selection/velocity is almost identical to Boston's Jonathan Papelbon. Both pitchers mix in a splitfinger fastball and slider while primarily relying on a 94-95 MPH fastball. Aardsma's 4.3 walks per nine innings wasn't awful in 2009, but the biggest potential liability associated with him remains the possible reemergence of control problems.
1B Kendry Morales, Angels, - It's safe to say the Angels look like geniuses after replacing the uber-expensive Mark Teixeira with farmhand Kendry Morales last year. That transition could not have worked out better, as Morales finished up his first season as the Angels new first-baseman with 34 HRs, 109 RBIs and an impressive .306 BA. Before 2009, Morales had exhibited 30 HR power in the minors, but it had never translated to expected performance when he was called up major league auditions during those years. Morales obviously quieted all doubts concerning his abilities last season, and looked especially good after the All-Star break, when he hit .330 with 19 HRs compared to .284 with 15 HRs in the first half. While there are always doubts and risk inherent with young players who generate sparkling fantasy numbers seemingly out of nowhere, when you consider his second half performance along with his minor league resume, Morales looks to be a legitimate rising star.

Player Spotlights By Junkyard Jake JunkyardJake.Com