One player that will be under the radar in the 2010 fantasy baseball draft is Rockies’ left-hander Franklin Morales.
Pitching is all about angles and deception and Morales has mastered both of these traits. He throws high off of the mound which helps contribute to a 96 MPH fastball. Add to that a herky-jerky motion with a slight hesitation in his delivery, and you can see why the Rockies pitchers are no longer considered the Rockies Horror Pitching Show.
The 24-year-old Venezuelan began the year as a starter, but was sent down to Colorado Springs after just two appearances. When Morales returned to Denver, it was in the bullpen where he made his mark.
When Huston Street went down late in the year, Morales and Rafael Betancourt shared the closer role until Street returned in September. Morales saved 7 of 8 attempts and finished the year with a 3-2 record, 4.50 ERA, and 1.52 WHIP.
Those are not exactly stats that turn fantasy baseball managers’ heads for a late inning reliever, but clearly manager Jim Tracy has faith in Morales. He pitched in all four round one playoff games versus the Phillies and Morales was perfect — 2.2 innings pitched with no runners reaching base. Morales proved to be a mighty weapon against the port-side heavy swinging Phillies.
Street’s performance against Philly was not so memorable. He had two blown saves and helped propel the Phillies into the NLCS.
You might think that this means that Morales is destined to take Street’s closer role in 2010. Not a chance. The Rockies signed Street for three more years at $22.5 million. With Morales near the major league minimum, the Rockies are not going to put the veteran Street in a setup role and give the job to Morales.