Author Topic: Follow the Prospects: Yohandy Morales, 3B  (Read 3786 times)

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Offline imref

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Follow the Prospects: Yohandy Morales, 3B
« Topic Start: July 10, 2023, 12:10:40 PM »
Yohandy Morales, 3B
DoB: October 9, 2001
6'4", 225
From Miami, FL
Drafted as the first pick in the 2nd round in 2023 (#40 overall)

Stats/Bio: https://miamihurricanes.com/roster/yohandy-morales/

Career at Miami: 1.048 OPS, 49 home runs, .343 BA

2023: Led Miami in average (.408), hits (98), home runs (20), RBI (70), at-bats (240), total bases (171), on-base percentage (.475), slugging percentage (.713) and OPS (1.187).

Keith Law:
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Morales looks like an easy top-10 pick when you see him walk on the field or take batting practice, or even just a few game swings where he makes contact, but he whiffs too much for that and most scouts think he’ll end up in left field or at first base, making the bat that much more important. Morales looks the part, certainly, and has a pretty swing that can produce significant power but more often puts the ball on the ground. You can beat him with velocity up or breaking stuff down and away, not dissimilar to former Florida Gator Jud Fabian, who was the Orioles’ second-round pick last year. Morales is neither natural nor easy at third and I think at least has to move to right field in pro ball. To his credit, he’s hit better in the ACC, .353/.430/.500 with just an 18.5 percent strikeout rate, and may be able to hit his way back up into the middle of the first round. There just seem to be better bets to hit in this class, between Morales’ two clear holes and the fact that a lot of the hard contact he makes comes in the form of groundballs.

BA Scouting report:

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BA Grade:55/Extreme
Tools:Hit: 45. Power: 60. Run: 45. Field: 50. Arm: 60.

Morales was a talented and toolsy high school prospect who ranked as the No. 77 overall player in the 2020 draft class. He made it to campus at Miami, where he initially split time at shortstop and third base, before sliding over to the hot corner full time. Morales is a large, athletic righthanded hitter with a 6-foot-4, 225-pound frame that has plenty of strength now, but still room to add good weight in the future. He’s been a consistent producer for the Hurricanes and is a career .341/.412/.624 hitter over 172 games with 46 home runs. Morales takes big hacks, and starts his swing with a bit of a hand hitch before firing through the zone with a lengthy bat path. He has plus raw power that he generates with little effort in batting practice, and generates tons of damage on contact with a 94.2 mph average exit velocity in 2023 and a 108.9 mph 90th percentile mark. Morales has pure hit questions thanks to both the length of his swing and his pitch recognition. He chases out of the zone frequently and has long seemed to struggle identifying breaking balls, which leads him to getting out in front and off-balance at times. He missed 20% of the time vs. fastballs in 2023 compared to a 37% whiff rate on breaking balls. Morales is an average runner who has solid defensive tools at third, including solid mobility, athleticism and plus arm strength. He’ll need to become more consistent in the field and could potentially slow down as he adds strength to an already large frame.

https://www.masnsports.com/blog/nats-find-another-power-bat-with-morales-in-round-2

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As much attention was given to the Nationals’ first-round pick - and rightfully so given the talent available and the significance of that selection - internally, club officials believed their second-round pick was going to be just as important to the franchise. Though they lost the No. 1 overall pick to the Pirates via the new draft lottery, they still maintain the first choice for every other round based on their worst-in-baseball record in 2022.

"When you're picking that high (in the first round), it takes care of itself," Kline said. "A lot of the work, most of the work actually, went into pick 40."

So with the first pick of the second round of a draft loaded with elite college hitters, the Nats added another one to their farm system. MLB Pipeline has rated Morales as high as the 20th best draft prospect. Kline insisted the Nationals had him even higher than that on their internal draft board.

Morales, for his part, also believed he would be long gone before the second round commenced late Sunday night.

"Obviously, I went further than I thought I was going to go," he said. "At the end of the day, it happened for a reason. I'm in a great organization now, and I'm just ready to do what I can to help the team win games."

A physical presence at 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, Morales tore up ACC pitching this season, batting .408 with 20 homers, 70 RBIs, a .475 on-base percentage and 1.187 OPS in 61 games for the University of Miami. The son of a former Cuban National Team player who spent time in the minors with the Yankees and Red Sox, "Yo Yo" (the younger Morales’ nickname since he was 10) was deemed one of the best power bats in this draft.

Power, of course, is something the Nationals could sorely use at the major league level. Given his pedigree hitting for power in a major college conference, Morales could find himself on a fast track to the big leagues, perhaps not far behind Crews, who many believe will be ready to debut sometime in 2024.

"I feel like Washington got two of the best college hitters in the draft, if I'm being honest," he said. "I've been with Dylan since I was younger. I've played with him a lot. That's going to be a special group when we go out there. Ready to hit some baseballs."

A Miami native, Morales said he's excited to be able to play spring training ball in nearby West Palm Beach. He's even played at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches already.

Morales’ power is his top-rated skill, but there is some concern about his penchant for swinging and missing, especially at pitches out of the strike zone. Regardless, his ability to make loud contact was too intriguing for the Nationals to pass up. They also like his defensive skills, despite his large body at third base.

"He's a big, strong, physical corner player," Kline said. "Surprising speed for a guy his size. He's a tick-above-average runner. He's a really good defender. He throws above average. And power at a corner spot."

Given his size, there will be those who wonder if Morales can make it long-term as a third baseman. He adamantly believes he can not only play the position throughout his career, but thrive there.

"I'm super confident in my ability to play third base," he said. "Honestly, I started taking pride in it more in my last year of college. I was more worried about my hitting when I first got to college. ... Anything I can do to get better at third, if it was early work on defense or anything, I was out there trying to get better. And I feel like it's paid off."

Offline imref

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yohandy Morales, 3B
« Reply #1: July 10, 2023, 12:11:50 PM »
we now have Jo Jo and Yo Yo!

Offline Kevrock

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yohandy Morales, 3B
« Reply #2: July 10, 2023, 01:01:22 PM »
Yoyo is awesome. He was a total beast for Miami, I was shocked when he slid.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yohandy Morales, 3B
« Reply #3: July 10, 2023, 02:24:29 PM »
gonna copy a few posts from the draft thread into here rather than move so it doesn't mess up the first post of the thread.

Yohandy Morales, come on down


https://www.orlandosentinel.com/2023/07/09/hurricanes-star-yohandy-morales-drafted-in-first-round/
Kiley McDaniel has him at 18 on the Big Board. Keith Law at 32.

Surprising pick given House in the system.

Here’s more:
https://amp.miamiherald.com/sports/college/acc/university-of-miami/article277093888.html
From what I’ve read, he likely won’t stay at third.
Dude has 1st base written all over him.
fwiw, Longenhagen / Fangraphs had him at #13 :shock: high risk 45+.

https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects/the-board/2023-mlb-draft?search=&filter=&org=&pos= [the quote is from the linked the "report"]

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Morales arrived on campus with a ton of profile because 6-foot-4 infielders with plus power and arm strength don't typically make it to school. After a somewhat disappointing freshman season, Morales improved in each subsequent year and finished his career in Coral Gables with a god-like .408/.475/.713 line. Morales is a ferocious swinger with a prototypical baseball player's frame, projecting for at least plus raw power at maturity if he doesn't have it already. His swing has always been a little stiff and odd, and indeed there are some in-zone vulnerabilities that make him a volatile corner infield prospect, but Morales' talent and 30-homer potential are going to force someone to take him in the first round. Even as he's filled out to about 225 pounds, he's retained the athleticism to play third base quite well, and his arm is an easy left-side fit on the infield. It's possible the move Morales' hands make before he actually starts his swing can be toned down to help him shorten up and pull more pitches without detracting from his power. He has the ceiling of an impact everyday third baseman.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yohandy Morales, 3B
« Reply #4: July 10, 2023, 02:56:12 PM »
from the Orlando Sentinel article linked above:
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Morales, a Miami Braddock High alumnus, will likely receive a large signing bonus to persuade him from returning to Miami for his senior year. The slot bonus for the 40th pick is $2,144,700. Morales was considered to be a potential first-round pick, ranking 20th in MLB Pipeline’s pre-draft rankings. But he fell into the second round Sunday night.

***

Morales spent three seasons with the Hurricanes, placing fourth all-time in program history with 49 home runs. In his three seasons, he hit .343 with a 1.048 OPS and 174 RBIs.

Last year, he hit .408 with a 1.174 OPS and 20 home runs. He was a Golden Spikes Award semifinalist, an All-ACC first-team selection and was picked for All-American teams by Perfect Game and ABCA/Rawlings.

He has a year of eligibility left. Slot for this pick is $2.4 million and change.


Offline welch

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yohandy Morales, 3B
« Reply #6: July 12, 2023, 06:43:18 PM »
Sign him with whatever is necessary and send him to Harrisburg. Let him compete with Trey Lipscomb. Send him to 1B if necessary. All good.

Offline Mattionals

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yohandy Morales, 3B
« Reply #7: July 12, 2023, 07:17:11 PM »
Sign him with whatever is necessary and send him to Harrisburg. Let him compete with Trey Lipscomb. Send him to 1B if necessary. All good.


He probably starts in Fred or at best Wilmington.

Offline welch

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yohandy Morales, 3B
« Reply #8: July 12, 2023, 07:19:39 PM »

He probably starts in Fred or at best Wilmington.

My guess is that the SEC is better than A, and maybe better than A+.

Does anyone have an idea how to compare college baseball, and especially the SEC, to levels of the minors?

Offline Slateman

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yohandy Morales, 3B
« Reply #9: July 12, 2023, 07:31:52 PM »
My guess is that the SEC is better than A, and maybe better than A+.

Does anyone have an idea how to compare college baseball, and especially the SEC, to levels of the minors?

Its not. With rare exceptions, college is low A ball or rookie ball.

Lets take a look at the 2022 draft. Jacob Berry was the highest drafted SEC player. He's currently hitting .216 in High A.

Also, Miami is the ACC

Offline DCsOwn

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yohandy Morales, 3B
« Reply #10: July 17, 2023, 01:17:40 PM »
https://twitter.com/jimcallismlb/status/1680977614230417408?s=46&t=Q_qc3R_qyMHAAFvlywNqzQ

Bigger number than I expected honestly. Still, happy to have him in the fold 💯

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yohandy Morales, 3B
« Reply #11: July 17, 2023, 01:50:19 PM »
https://twitter.com/jimcallismlb/status/1680977614230417408?s=46&t=Q_qc3R_qyMHAAFvlywNqzQ

Bigger number than I expected honestly. Still, happy to have him in the fold 💯
so about $350K over slot and the same money as Sykora. That's $5.2 million. With the other signings (##6-10 for $20,000 each), what's that leave for Crews, the Alabama kid, and #5?

Offline welch

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yohandy Morales, 3B
« Reply #12: July 17, 2023, 03:52:24 PM »
so about $350K over slot and the same money as Sykora. That's $5.2 million. With the other signings (##6-10 for $20,000 each), what's that leave for Crews, the Alabama kid, and #5?

And for Pinckney at 4? Quick guess: a bit above slot for Crews and if anyone gets squeezed, it is the shortstop at 5. And everyone but Sykora is a college player.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yohandy Morales, 3B
« Reply #13: July 17, 2023, 04:10:44 PM »
And for Pinckney at 4? Quick guess: a bit above slot for Crews and if anyone gets squeezed, it is the shortstop at 5. And everyone but Sykora is a college player.
see the MLB draft thread. Pinkney signed for $160K below slot. Nats can spend roughly $9.4 million before losing a pick as a penalty, with just Brown and Crews left out of the top 10. The slot for Crews is ~$9 million, and for Brown is a touch over $464K.

For the sake of argument, if Brown signs for $400K, that leaves a max for Crews of $9.1 million. If Brown signs for $500K, then Crews gets slot. All this assumes that the Nats aren't willing to forfeit a pick next year.

Offline imref

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yohandy Morales, 3B
« Reply #14: July 29, 2023, 01:17:40 PM »
1-3 in his FCL debut today.

Offline welch

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yohandy Morales, 3B
« Reply #15: July 29, 2023, 02:38:50 PM »
1-3 in his FCL debut today.

Lets go, Yoyo!

Offline imref

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yohandy Morales, 3B
« Reply #16: August 01, 2023, 05:11:17 PM »
Assigned to Fredricksburg!

Offline welch

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yohandy Morales, 3B
« Reply #17: August 01, 2023, 06:47:51 PM »
OK, Yoyo!!

Offline DCsOwn

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Offline NatsAllThe Way

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yohandy Morales, 3B
« Reply #20: August 01, 2023, 09:22:27 PM »
Nice swing there.

Offline GataNats

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yohandy Morales, 3B
« Reply #21: August 02, 2023, 12:37:24 AM »
Pretty sure any bullpen pitcher makes that play in right



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