Player: Nico Hoerner
Height: 6’1 Weight: 200 Age: 23 Bats/Throws: R/R Current Level: MLB
MLB.com Rank: 1st in Cubs System
Drafted: 2018 (1st Round, 24th Overall by Cubs)
Hometown: Oakland, CA
The Cubs took Hoerner with their first round pick in 2018 (24th overall) and signed him for $2,724,000. He was drafted for his quick hands and superior hand-eye coordination along with a disciplined approach at the plate. But after joining the organization, Hoerner began to tap into his some power and began to drive the ball, eventually molding himself into the Cubs #1 prospect.
Cubs fans are familiar with Hoerner, as he was an emergency call-up in September last season after Javy Baez and Addison Russell both went down with injuries. He burst on the scene with four RBI in a 10-2 victory against the Padres at Petco Park. Without playing a single inning in Triple-A, Hoerner was impressive; hitting .282 with three home runs and 17 RBI in 82 plate appearances with the Cubs.
Hoerner used to be seen a contact guy, but he made some swing changes including adding a little bat wrap that allowed him to tap into more of his power. He has above-average speed and should be able to steal some bases (had eight SB at Double-A in 2019). Scout’s have compared Hoerner’s overall game to that of Ian Kinsler.
Defensively, Hoerner is best characterized as reliable. He has good instincts and good hands, but his arm and range are about average for a shortstop. With Javy Baez entrenched at short, second-base seems likely for Hoerner. That being said, he did start 11 games in centerfield for Double-A Tennessee last season, so that may be an option the Cubs are considering as well. That sort of versatility could make him a more valuable and flexible option for David Ross’ lineup.
Nico Hoerner Stats