Can we give Christopher Morell some love in his first 100 Big League games?

It’s been a long, difficult, and productive season so far for newbie Christopher Morrell of the Chicago Cubs. He’s going to spend the night, and I’d say he’s worth it.

I had Muriel and his season in the brain this morning because his game last night — MLB game 100 for him — really epitomized what we’ve seen of him this year, good and bad: He crushed Danger, filled it in short, and made a terrible mistake.

It’s a mix of things we’ve seen from the talented and versatile 23-year-old, and when you remember his youth, his limited experience, and the demands being placed on him, the year is even more impressive.

To this end, some praise for Christopher Morrell from David Ross (Cubs.com):

“He definitely showed some sparks of greatness in the shortstop, was really clean in second base, and I think there is still some work to do in third. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, and I think he played a mediocre midfield, but he can To grow in that field as well… We’ve asked a lot of the youngster this year and he has taken on every challenge…. I think his future is really bright, and the fact that he’s got multiple positions he can play in, and he’s played in the big leagues, is a positive.”

With his first 100 league games, Murrell has hit .237/ .309/ .428/106 wRC+, and base metrics suggest he’s got exactly that. Given his age, experience, and role, that seems pretty well established to me.

Speaking of which, I was very impressed with the way Morell looked at a short position last week while covering Nico Horner, especially after months and months of basically not playing the position while trying to tackle other positions while trying to be a big league hitter making adjustments. continuing because it was hardly ever played in Triple-A (Heck, he’s passed High-A, so he’s only played 138 games higher than Low-A!). Just to step in and play capable of a short stop – yes, yes, last night’s foul – is impressive.

Even if he falls off the bat and even if there is still development work to do defensively, this has been a great year for Muriel, and it’s fun to think about his future.

There aren’t many players who can proficiently handle every uncaptured defensive position, and people who can do so while using the league average racket are very valuable. That’s all you need to wish you were Muriel next year. And if the bat constantly reaches this range 110-120 wRC +? Well, you have Chris Taylor, who, by the way, didn’t become that guy until he was 26, or three years older than Muriel is now.

Fun fact on Taylor? He put together a season with the Mariners at the age of 23 very similar to what Morel does now (albeit on a younger sample). Then he had minimal playing time in the big league (while training in Triple-A), the Dodgers stole it for Zach Lee (long after he was a big name), then broke out on the 26th.

So I guess the lesson there is to take it easy on ditching Muriel if he needs time in Triple-A next year, and/or next year? You can’t put him on the 40-man list forever if he doesn’t contribute, but given the brief development window and the number of different things the Cubs have asked them to do, they’ll be advised of more leeway – next year, in particular -. The guy is obviously as talented as heck.

So, in short: The first 100 great games, Christopher. Enjoy your night.