For the past couple of years, it seems Mike Scioscia’s tragic illness has been finding ways to keep his team’s biggest power threat out of the lineup, and needless to say it did not make fantasy owners smile. But in the wake of Kendry Morales’ “cart off” homer, it appears as though things are going to change.
If there’s any lemonade to be made from the Morales Incident it’s that Angels slugger, Mike Napoli, is in line to get regular at bats for the rest of the year. Without Morales, the Halos are in need of some punch in their batting order and Lord knows it’s not coming from Brandon Wood. So who better to fill the void than Napoli, who has averaged nearly a home run every 15 at bats since the start of the 2008 season. But due to what Mike Scioscia deems to be defensive shortcomings (like he knows anything about catching), Napoli has never been more than a part time player and fantasy owners have never been able to see his 30 home run potential come to fruition.
A catcher by trade, Napoli has already seen time at 1b since Morales’ injury and should be a fixture in the lineup even when light hitting Jeff Mathis comes back. Plus, he could potentially move up to a more run producing spot in the order, further increasing his value. With four months to go, I think we could reasonably expect a line of .270 / 48 r / 20 hr / 60 rbi / 5 sb in 360 at bats going forward, with potential for more runs or rbi depending on his spot in the order. That is, of course, assuming Scioscia can stand penciling him into the lineup every day.