Just Sitting Here in Awe of Christopher Morel’s First Ten Games
It’s only been ten games, but it’s pretty hard to have a better ten games than Christopher Morel has had to open his 2023 big league campaign.
After a hot start last year in a call up straight from Double-A at age 22, Morel’s aggressive approach started to get exploited more and more by big league pitchers. By the end of the year, it was clear he would still need some work at the margins to make sure he could see his considerable ability show up in the results at the plate in the years ahead.
Thing is, when he showed up to Triple-A Iowa this year, it seemed clear that he’d already put in a lot of that work in the offseason. Because he obliterated Triple-A to such an extent that, by the time the Cubs finally called him up, he was producing like the single best hitter in all of baseball.
Now, in his 10 games in the big leagues, Morel is … well, he’s still hitting like the best hitter in all of baseball. It’s kinda crazy.
After another big game yesterday, Morel is hitting a silly .381/.409/.952/262 wRC+. No player with at least 40 plate appearances is within 65 POINTS of Morel’s wRC+. It’s almost impossible to start out with a hotter ten-game stretch.
That was another 400+ foot shot, and opposite field. Morel’s power is unquestionable.
Now, you hopefully understand where there will still have to be patience. The sample is small (even when combined with the 134 plate appearances at Iowa, it’s still early in the year). The discipline is not where it’ll need to be for him to actually keep tapping into the power. Eventually, pitchers are REALLY going to shy away from the zone, and Morel is going to have to show he’ll lay off pitcher-strikes, and accept his walks. His minor league track record suggests Morel will take the walks, but he’s not going to stop his aggressive approach around the zone.
The strikeout rate at Iowa was 30.6%, and in the bigs so far is 36.4%. You *can* survive at that level if you walk closer to 10% of the time and absolutely destroy the ball when you make contact, but those types of guys are really rare. Ideally, Morel can get the strikeout rate closer to, or slightly under, 30%. That’s still high, but I think the power will make up for it. He won’t stay at (or close to) THIS level of productivity, but an above-average bat overall? Maybe even well above-average? Yeah, I could see it.
Some more random fun with Morel’s hot start …
- Through his ten games, not only has Morel homered seven times, he’s also recorded at least one hit AND scored at least one run in all ten games. That’s not just rare to start a guy’s season, it’s rare in general:
- The homer part is exceedingly rare. In fact, although some famous Cubs have hit 7 homers in 10 games before, no Cub in the recognizable era of professional baseball has done it in the his first 10 games:
- I’m *pretty* sure that Morel’s 18 total homers this year, between Triple-A and MLB, are the most in baseball. Pete Alonso has 17 (all MLB), and Jo Adell has 15 (all Triple-A).
- Christopher Morel out here changing lives: