In this series, I look at one player per year from 1991-the present who came out of nowhere or had a great year that no one really noticed or expected.
Franklin Morales was acquired during the 2011 season from the Rockies to provide some depth to the pitching staff. He was a valuable left-hander out of the pen down the stretch. But as good as he was in 2011, he was even better in 2012 and was an incredibly valuable pitcher all year long.
Morales went 3-4 with a 3.77 ERA and 76 strikeouts in 76.1 innings with 30 walks. His numbers were certainly good, but it was his versatility that was most valuable. When injuries decimated the starting staff, Morales started several games (9) and performed fairly well. Morales also finished five games notching one save. More often than not Morales provided innings out of the bullpen. He was not the typical LOOGY pitching against one left-hander at the time. He was definitely tough on left-handed hitters, but he was at least decent against right-handers as well.
Morales returned to Boston in 2013 but has been on the disabled list all season so far.