Throughout the 2018/2019 offseason, Marlin Maniac will devote one article each for every player who appeared in the Miami Marlins system for the 2018 season. Every. Single. Player. This is Part 48 of 286. Stay tuned.
Roy Yamil Morales is a 6’2″, 195 lb. catcher from Lares, Puerto Rico. Born on June 25th, 1995, he was chosen in the 12th round of the 2014 draft by the Miami Marlins out of Colegio Angel David. He also touches the low-90s on the gun, offering a nice fallback to backstopping.
Morales was chosen with the 347th overall selection that year. Seven players chosen with the pick, or 12 percent, have actually reached the major league level. Everett Teaford (2006, Kansas City Royals, 1.2 career WAR), Grant Dayton (2010, Florida Marlins, 0.6 WAR), and Shawn Holman (1982, Pittsburgh Pirates, 0.3 WAR) lead the bunch. Morales is on Twitter @roy_morales25.
Morales inked a deal with the Fish for a $200,000 bonus following the draft, and reported to the domestic Florida based rookie-level Gulf Coast League, to the GCL Marlins. In 25 games, he went 17-for-76 with three doubles and seven RBI, drawing six walks and only striking out twice. Defensively, he threw out 14-of-49 basestealers, racked up a .988 fielding percentage, and passed 10 balls in 196 1/3 innings of work.
In 2015, Morales earned a promotion to the low-A Greensboro Grasshoppers in the South Atlantic League on June 20th, and played in 14 games for them waiting for the short-season-A Batavia Muckdogs to open their season in the New York-Penn League. He hit 8-for-44 with a pair of doubles, three walks, and five strikeouts for the Hoppers, passing zero balls in 119 innings. For the Dogs, he played in 23 contests and rated a .995 fielding percentage, with only two passed balls in 194 1/3 innings. His bat also came alive in the short-season league, with a .311/.360/.352 slashline. Overall, he threw out 22-of-51 basestealers.
2016 would see a solid full-season from Morales, who spent the entire campaign with the Grasshoppers. In 60 contests, he slashed out a .288/.374/.341 line, with only nine extra base hits (including one homer). He did draw 22 walks and struck out only 23 times in 240 plate appearances. Behind the plate, he earned a .992 fielding percentage and passed seven balls in 483 1/3 innings, throwing out 25-of-75 trying to steal.
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In 2017, Morales was pushed up another level, to the high-A Jupiter Hammerheads in the Florida State League. Again, he showed a lot of patience at the plate, drawing 13 walks while striking out 12 times in 119 plate appearances. He was hitting a near-identical slashline to the prior effort, at .288/.370/.356 in 30 games, seemingly earning his way onto the “rated prospect” list, Miami’s #21. It all came grinding to a halt when Morales tested positive for the performance-enhancing substance, Stanozolol. He was suspended for 80 games, starting on June 20th.
Morales’ suspension lasted until after the 2018 season got underway, but he rejoined Jupiter on April 22nd. In 46 games, he slashed .255/.331/.297, again showing patience but no power. The Marlins, perhaps soured on the deal by the positive test, released Morales on August 4th.
If Morales catches on somewhere, it will be due to his strong, accurate arm and his ability to take a pitch. We wish him well in his future endeavors.
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