Christopher Morel is Breaking Records, Bringing Energy, and Providing Hope

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Christopher Morel is Breaking Records, Bringing Energy, and Providing Hope

Chicago Cubs

It’s still too early to say with 100% confidence that Christopher Morel will remain in the big leagues the rest of this season, much less that he’ll continue to be a tremendous player all season or that he’s a locked-in starter for 2023 and beyond. All those things are, of course, quite possible at this point. But I do try to keep my head about me given the world that inevitably lies ahead of young players.

In the meantime, Morel just keeps doing really impressive things. Not just for a guy who wasn’t considered a top ten prospect coming into the season, and not just for a guy who can add most of his value by being defensively versatile. For ANY young player:

That streak is already a team record for the Cubs, but even across baseball, it hasn’t been done in a very long time.

Morel is now hitting .291/.380/.468/137 wRC+ through his first 92 plate appearances, walking 12.0% of the time and striking out just 21.7% of the time. If you wanted to pick nits, you would say that the .362 BABIP is probably a good bit elevated given the contact quality, and you would point out that his numbers are closer to league average over his last 10 games. But that’s getting really picky at such an early stage. To me, it makes a lot more sense to say simply that he’s done a fantastic job so far in all the ways you could realistically hope, but it’s early. That’s all.

By the way, as context for all of that, Morel’s rest-of-season projections – adjusted based on what he’s done so far – still generally see him as a below-average bat the rest of the way. For example, ZiPS is at just .216/.277/.376/82 wRC+, with Depth Charts only slightly better. Steamer has Morel at .239/.309/.421/103 wRC+ the rest of the way, which, hey, wouldn’t actually be all that bad for a highly-versatile rooke!

And that doesn’t touch on what a great teammate and spark of energy he’s already been:

That Athletic piece is framed around Morel’s praise for Contreras, but includes plenty of praise for Morel:

“The thing about Morel is just the way he gets on base, the way he looks in the dugout, the way he claps, the energy he brings,” (David) Ross said. “His love for the game is contagious, and I think a lot of guys just feed off that, for sure. He’s a real baseball player. You tell him something, he’s able to put it into action really fast, whether it’s defensively or on the bases. He’s learning really fast.”

That quote is the reminder, for me, that although adjustments to the downside are probably coming for Morel – the game is hard! the pitchers are good! – there can also be adjustments and improvements on his side, too. It’s the “keep developing at the big league level” stuff that we’ve been hearing about for years, but the Cubs haven’t yet shown us. Maybe Morel can be one of those guys.

Morel is also just a beacon for hope overall for Cubs fans who want to believe this farm system is now in such a good place that guys who aren’t even considered the tip-top prospects in the system can come up and be impactful. That would be pretty incredible, and critical to the team’s success in 2023 and beyond.



Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.