Hello, fellow farm club devotees! My name is Joe Morgan, and I am more than honored to start contributing to Cubs Prospect Watch. I started writing my preliminary version of this little “get-to-know-you” in an attempt to convince readers of my legitimate status as “Cubs enthusiast.” The result was an overly-sentimentalized reminiscence of my first memories from Wrigley Field, but (a) I am uncomfortable subjecting readers to sappy prose, and (b) I'm not trying to one-up the first time to Wrigley story of anyone else. So instead, I'm going to try to explain my excitement for baseball reading and writing which we undoubtedly share.
There isn't much in life that makes me happier than getting into meaty baseball discussions. I guess it's, in part, the social and conversational aspect of the game that engages me—I'm a sociable guy. I'm also a Cubs fan living in St. Louis, and given the recent success we've been experiencing in Chicago, I've had many friends commenting on the goings on of Chicago baseball: “Man, Kris Bryant crushed that ball last night! That guy's a stud!” Or in other cases, “Wow, Bryant strikes out way too much. That guy's way overrated.”
I inevitably end up boring my friends with a response somewhere along the lines of, “Well sure he has a lot of power. The strikeouts aren't ideal, but you're going to generate a lot of swings and misses with an upper-cut power stroke. That's why he's been struggling with balls low and outside. But when you talk about where he struggles with strikeouts, you also have to consider his ability to take walks. He showed significant improvement on laying off trouble pitches in the second half, and players tend to develop their eye for the strike zone more and more as they gain experience in the majors. That's pretty exciting when you consider his OBP was already .369 this year.”
Okay, maybe I don't actually have players' OBPs memorized, but you get the point. That's the meaty sort of baseball discussion I'm talking about. I'm thrilled to contribute my observations to a community of Cubs fans who share my enthusiasm for the game. I'm grateful for the opportunity to write for Cubs Prospect Watch and help facilitate meaningful baseball conversation.
Having said all that, here's a little bit about me. I'm a senior English major at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. I've spent most of my life living in St. Louis (thank God for MLB.tv), but I was born in Seattle. The Cubs obsession comes from some combination of fatherly influence, frequent Wrigley Field attendance, and a healthy love of Kerry Wood. Nowadays I'm an Addison Russell guy; I love to watch good defense. I hope everyone comes back in the near future to hear some of the off-season thoughts from CPW. Additionally, I encourage everyone to follow me on Twitter @JosephsTweeter for Cubs talk not necessarily related to the farm. The greatest part about this Cubs team being exciting again is that baseball season never really ends. The end of the postseason just left me hungry for free agent talk, Arizona Fall ball, and Winter Meetings. So happy off-season Cubs fans! We'll talk again soon.
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