Miami Marlins: Responding to a Jesus Luzardo-for-Christopher Morel Mock Trade

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The Bad

Like many sluggers in the modern MLB, Morel has a high strikeout tendency. Oakland A's outfielder led all of baseball (qualified hitters) with a 32.7% K-rate in 2023. Though he did not receive enough ABs to qualify, Morel posted a 31% mark. This would have been the sixth-worst in baseball.

Morel's 133 strikeouts in 2023 were a problem. As were his 137 Ks in 2022. As will be his 130 projected whiffs this season.

The slugger's 8.4% walk rate was also concerningly low. Morel very much profiles as a high-power, high strikeout, low OPB player who will build his career on the home run ball. Thankfully, he is very skilled at hitting home runs. But the Marlins cannot discount the plate discipline concerns.

The Ugly

Unfortunately, the metrics also indicate concerns with Morel's defense, particularly as a shortstop. For instance, Baseball Savant ranked 473 qualified players in terms of their defensive range and out-production. Want to guess where Morel ranked in 2023? #438... And this was with him playing an easier 2B as his primary infield position. This number should only decline if he shifts to shortstop.

Morel would be a perfect fit as a DH replacement for Jorge Soler. Or even a staple of one of Miami's corner outfield spots. But, unfortunately, he is not a realistic option to take over as Miami's starting shortstop in 2024 and beyond.