Kendrys Morales’ performance over the past couple of weeks has been off the charts, both figuratively and literally.
According to data from Fangraphs.com, Morales has the highest 15-game “rolling” OPS over the past five years. What this means is that this graph takes plots data in 15-game intervals, in order to show both “hot” and “cold” stretches. Morales has not had a better few weeks than these past few weeks in the five year timeframe shown.
Over his last 30 games, Morales is hitting .385/.442/.725 with 10 home runs and 28 RBI. At that pace, he would hit 54 home runs, which would be 159% higher than his current career-high of 34, set all the way back in 2009.
Almost single handedly, he’s kept the Royals in the race, as they’re 15-15 in these past 30 games. Though with injuries to Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas, Kansas City has needed all the help they can get offensively. And Morales has done more than just step up.
In the past 30 days, Morales has provided the third-most offensive runs above average in the Major Leagues, according to FanGraphs. He has a 238 wRC+, ranking first. This does come with a sky-high .474 BABIP (also first), but some regression off this pace is always expected.
This is extreme improvement for a player that opened the season hitting just .185 with a .562 OPS in his first 46 games. Morales has improved his OPS 238 points since May 29.
The question becomes, then, what can we expect from Kendrys Morales over the rest of the season?
Morales is crushing the ball right now, hitting over 90% of his balls for at least “medium” contact in the past 30 games. He’s not seeing improved plate discipline, swinging at just over 30% of balls outside the strike zone in that same stretch. For comparison, he was swinging at about 29% of balls outside the strike zone prior to this.
Unfortunately, Morales’ hot stretch is mostly due to luck as expected. Though he has not made drastic changes, it’ll be hard to be as horrid as he was in the first quarter of the season, so we should be able to see a Kendrys Morales that is between the two extremes going forward.
**Stats do not include July 5**