The Kansas City Royals took a flier on free agent slugger Kendrys Morales before the 2015 season, and it's arguably become one of the best under-the-radar signings of the year.
In 158 games with the Royals, Morales hit .290/.362/.485 with 22 home runs and 106 RBI - a huge improvement both in offensive production and the health department (as he only managed 98 games in 2014 with the Seattle Mariners and Minnesota Twins).
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Now, with the Royals one win away from a World Series berth if they're able to beat the Toronto Blue Jays in ALCS Game 6 (or a potential Game 7), they're reaping the benefits of the Morales signing.
Manager Ned Yost spoke with MLB.com's Jane Lee this week about Morales' impact on the club, and he definitely likes what he's seen: "We'd hoped that he'd be really, really good, and he has been", he told Lee.
While his season was probably a surprise to most that follow baseball, Morales told Lee that he might have seen it coming since he's finally fully healthy: "Things have been working out well for me. My swing is there, and I'm feeling good at the plate. I don't think anybody expected me to have this type of season, especially after such a bad year last year. I'm healthy and I worked hard for this."
His hard work is definitely paying off, and it could result in a World Series appearance if the Royals are able to dispatch the Blue Jays one more time.