The Chicago Cubs have a breakout sensation as Christopher Morel’s hot start includes setting new records. Morel has now hit a home run in five consecutive games. He is also the first Cubs player to do that since Sammy Sosa did it during the 1998 home run chase. Ryne Sandberg in 1989 and Hack Wilson in 1928 are the two other most recent instances in Cubs history of a player accomplishing this feat according to ESPN reporter Jesse Rogers. To put that into perspective, the Cubs have been around longer than the NL.
More on Morel's 9th HR, from @ESPNStatsInfo:
He joins Mike Schmidt (11 in 1976), Luis Gonzalez (9 in 2001) and Larry Walker (9 in 1997) for the most HR hit in a players first 12 games of a season.
— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) May 24, 2023
Christopher Morel’s Hot Start
Morel has hit a home run in nine of the 12 games he has played in this season. No other player in MLB history has hit a home run in at least nine of their first 12 games in a season according to OptaSTATS. To add to that, Mike Schmidt hit 11 home runs in his first 12 games of the 1976 season. According to MLB statistician Sarah Langs, this is the one instance since 1900 of a player hitting more home runs in a player’s first 12 games of a season. Morel is tied with two other players for the second most.
Those are not the only records set as Morel stars for the Cubs. Morel has done something that no one else in MLB history has done. During the five-game home run streak, Morel has hit a home run from five different spots in the lineup. Morel is the only player in MLB history that can say they hit a home run in five straight games from five different spots in the batting order. And not only has Morel done that, but he has also hit home runs from the leadoff spot and the last spot in the order.
Beyond The Records
In 12 games played Morel stars with a .367 batting average along with 9 HR and 15 RBI. For comparison during the 2022 season, Morel had a .235 batting average with 16 HR and 47 RBI in 113 games. Morel is on track to top all of his totals from his rookie season. Morel also has a hit in every game he has played in this season. Morel has not had a stretch of back-to-back games without a home run this season. Morel has also not gone consecutive games without an RBI this season.
In nine games in the field this season Morel has not committed an error. For comparison, Morel had 10 errors last season. Morel has also played four different defensive positions this season. Morel has played in all three outfield spots as well as playing second base. There have also been three games where Morel has played multiple positions. Morel also has been the designated hitter on multiple occasions this season. This includes the last two games when he reached four and five consecutive games with a home run.
How The Team Has Performed
Morel stars in multiple ways for the Cubs with his bat and glove. But, as impressive as he has been this season the team has not been able to convert his success at the plate into wins. The Cubs are 4-8 this season with Morel in the lineup. During the current home run streak, the Cubs are 2-3 with a tilt with the NY Mets up next. Morel has homered during three of the Cubs’ four wins with him in the lineup. While the team has not gotten the desired results with Morel in the lineup, they do have an emerging superstar with a bright future.
Main photo credits:
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Christopher Morel, Sammy Sosa, Ryne Sandberg, Hack Wilson, Mike Schmidt