Cubs believe big things are in store for prospect Christopher Morel
Christopher Morel is not yet a household name with Cubs fans, but he might be soon.
The 21-year-old minor leaguer has not played above Class-A ball yet in his career but the organization holds him in high regard.
The Cubs invited him to work out at the alternate site in South Bend last summer, where he joined the team’s other top prospects and competed against the guys that were shuttling back and forth from Chicago on the expanded rosters.
Morel came in at No. 8 on Marquee Sports Network’s first-ever Top 20 Cubs prospects ranking and the organization is a big believer in both his skills and his intangibles.
“He is a versatile defender,” Cubs VP of player development Matt Dorey said. “He can play all over the field, including third, second, center field. He has some of the more dynamic right-handed power in our system. He needs to improve his pitch recognition, some of his swing decisions, but he’s made huge strides in those areas over the last year.
“One of the more athletic players in our system and couldn’t be more proud of who he is off the field. He’s a guy who really impacts his teammates with how he works and how hard he plays the game.”
The last time we saw Morel in game action, it was an intrasquad scrimmage at Wrigley Field last July when he was called up to help fill the lineup for one afternoon. Morel doubled off Alec Mills and came around to score in that scrimmage.
Before that, Morel enjoyed something of a breakout season in 2019 for Class-A South Bend. He hit .284 with a .787 OPS in 73 games, smacking 28 extra-base hits (including 6 homers) in 257 at-bats.
In November, the Cubs added Morel to their 40-man roster and the organization is leaving the door open that he could contribute in the big leagues sometime soon.
“I think Chris Morel is probably a year away, but he’s a really exciting, young talent that we protected on the roster because we believe in his upside,” Dorey said on a recent Cubs Weekly Podcast. “He made such huge strides in South Bend that I’m not turning the page and saying he can’t make his debut in 2021, but I do think he has some developmental goals that he still needs to accomplish.”