A key member of the Sioux Falls Pheasants’ lineup last year, both at the plate and in the field, is back for the 2013 season.
The Pheasants have renewed the contract of shortstop Cory Morales, manager Steve Shirley announced on Tuesday.
Morales, 26, comes off his best offensive output in his three-year career. In 90 games with Sioux Falls last year, he hit .292, clubbed nine home runs and drove in 51 RBI. For the second straight season he collected over 100 hits with 111. Morales was among the league leaders in hitting through early July until he was slowed by an ankle injury.
“Re-signing Cory is a great starting place for our club,” Shirley said. “He’s a great defensive shortstop, and we’re expecting big things from him again at the plate. I’m excited to have him back and watch him play.”
A native of Lakewood, Calif., Morales sparkled on defense in 2012. His .970 fielding percentage was second among regular starting shortstops in the American Association, and he participated in 77 of the 117 double plays turned by the Pheasants.
Following the Pheasants 2012 campaign, Morales had a brief stint with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs of the independent Atlantic League, where he went 1-for-16 with an RBI in five games.
Morales was undrafted after a collegiate career at the University of Northern Colorado. He played his first two seasons with the Fort Worth Cats (then in the American Association). He is a career .276 hitter with 12 home runs and 116 RBI.
The Sioux Falls Pheasants begin their 21st season on May 16, 2013, and their home opener is May 17 against the Sioux City Explorers. Information about season tickets and advertising with the Sioux Falls Pheasants is available by calling (605) 336-6060 or visiting www.sfpheasants.com.
Courtesy: Scott Beatty, Pheasants