2 Cubs players who won't be better in 2023: #2 - Christopher Morel
Christopher Morel was a spark plug for the 2022 Cubs and I think he'll play a very important role this year, as well, serving as a jack-of-all-trades for David Ross. His defensive versatility will be key - but I think he's going to be what he was a year ago, and nothing more.
Morel is a guy who plays with his heart on his sleeve, much the same as now-Cardinals catcher Willson Contreras. He's going to come up with some big hits and fans will love him - but there are several glaring holes in his game he'll have to overcome if he wants to force his way into the starting lineup on a contender.
First, he's got to cut down on the strikeouts. Last year, he punched out in nearly one-third of his trips to the plate - and he's got to put the ball in play more because a .308 OBP isn't going to cut it and his walk rate is already at league average. He's going to have to add some ticks in that department via base hits - period.
He runs well and has an absolute cannon of an arm - both of which will lend themselves to his future on the North Side. But until he proves he can make some major adjustments at the plate and cut down the swing-and-miss in his game, he is what he is: a versatile guy with a flair for the dramatics who's roughly a league average bat. There's nothing wrong with that in the slightest; I'm just not betting on anything more (and neither are any of the major projections).