Morales To Make Pro Debut

The Angels’ long wait for Kendry Morales is over. Morales has arrived in the United States and is scheduled to make his debut tonight at Class A Rancho Cucamonga.

Morales, the Cuban slugger signed amid much fanfare in December, had been stranded in the Dominican Republic. By defecting there and declaring himself a free agent, he could sign with whatever club he liked but could not leave until obtaining the Dominican citizenship needed to secure a Dominican passport and a U.S. work visa.

General Manager Bill Stoneman said that Morales would begin pro ball as a first baseman, although he also can play third base and left field.

“It’s the big bat he carries that’s the big thing,” Stoneman said.

The Angels signed Morales, who is listed as 21 years old, to a six-year contract that includes a $3-million signing bonus.