5 bold predictions for the 2024 Cubs - 4. Christopher Morel launches 30+ homers
Speaking of paces when it came to hitting home runs in 2023, Christopher Morel launched 26 over the wall but did so after starting his MLB season in early May when he finally got called back up due to his scorching hot pace in Triple-A Iowa to begin the year. Given that he only played in 107 games in 2023, his 26 homers and 70 RBIs put him on a pace for nearly 40 home runs and over 100 RBIs on the year. He did have 37 HRs and 101 knocked in between Iowa and MLB last season, for those who like to look at a whole body of work regardless of the level.
Morel's .260 ISO in 2023, was second-best on the team, trailing only Patrick Wisdom among Cubs players who registered at least 300 at-bats. My biggest worry with this prediction is how much playing time the Cubs will be able to give Morel. If they don't sign Matt Chapman, he'll be able to fill in at third base more often than not.
If the team still goes wild and signs both Chapman and Cody Bellinger, it will be hard for Morel to get everyday reps at all. However, my money is on the Cubs landing Bellinger and not Chapman, leaving Morel with more opportunity to hit as many tanks onto Waveland Ave. as possible. Morel is only 24 years old and not even entering his prime yet. Where he will field is a question mark, but the power in the bat must be included in the lineup.