Chicago Cubs News: Christopher Morel is on an unreal tear in Iowa
The Chicago Cubs are letting Christopher Morel play every day down in Triple A Iowa so he can help improve on some of the kinks he had from his rookie year. Morel, 23, showed promise at the MLB level last year, hitting for some pop and bringing great energy to the club. One of the things the Cubs would like to see Morel improve on is the strikeouts, as he whiffed 32% of the time last season in the Majors.
Heading into Sunday, Morel is sporting a .354/.462/.815 slash in 78 plate appearances with seven home runs, a 1.277 OPS and wRC+ of 215. Morel entered Sunday with the 13th-best wRC+ and sixth-best OPS in MiLB. Over his last 10 games alone he is slugging .923, not his OPS...his slugging! The good old-fashioned eye test will tell you how hard he is hitting the ball as he has hit some majestic home runs this season.
Morel has primarily played at third base in Iowa this year, with some time spent in the outfield. Either way, he is out there every day, which would not likely happen in the Majors at this current time. The Cubs taking this approach with him indicate that they do not see him as a finished product and want to develop him as best as possible, even if that means him playing with the I-Cubs.
One thing to note is that within these excellent stats remains a higher strikeout rate at 28%. There is still some work to be done in that department, but the fact that he is mashing the way he is helps us see the promise that he does have. Even if he is a specific type of role player in the Majors, as opposed to an everyday player, there is value in what he brings with the bat and as a teammate.
It is hard to blame people for wanting Morel's bat at the MLB level now. The fact that he is crushing it and we saw the things he can do last year is more appealing than having "4A" vets taking up space on the roster. With that said, if this is part of the process that will make Morel a better MLB player, then hopefully his time in Triple A will pay off. He might not be able to make massive cutdowns on the strikeouts, but if the approach improves then he can take those next steps in being a more consistent producer at the plate.
As long as he is healthy and playing, he will be back up with the Cubs at some point this year.