Cubs prospect Nico Hoerner has only played in 14 minor league games, plus another 15 in the Arizona Fall League, but oh boy have the early returns on the field and off the field been great.
Hoerner played in the Fall Stars Game on Saturday and singled to center field on the first pitch he saw.
Nico Hoerner had a first-pitch single up the middle, a caught stealing, recorded one putout at 3B on a line drive, and grounded out in the AFL Rising Stars Game.
Here is the video of the single, with the second replay in slo-mo. pic.twitter.com/yo8j9h0EdE
— Cubs Prospects (@cubprospects) November 4, 2018
Nobody punches the ball quite like #Cubs Nico Hoerner. Muscled a single straight up the middle.
Controls the barrel and has enough raw pop to drive the ball with ease. Has been one of my favorite hitters to watch since I got out to Arizona.
— Emily Waldon (@EmilyCWaldon) November 4, 2018
So, a month ago, I officially got on the Nico Hoerner hype train. Obviously there haven’t been any major moves this offseason, but looking ahead to 2019 and beyond, the Cubs will have a void in the middle infield. Yeah, I saw the report about the Cubs considering bringing back Addison Russell, though, I still don’t see that happening. So yeah, I need someone to get behind and I’m in on Hoerner.
With that said, I’m not gonna lie. I don’t know much about the Stanford shortstop other than he projects to be a second baseman at the MLB level and he may have more power than first expected. Wasn’t really a home run hitter in college.
However, everyone around him, his peers and coaches, are raving about Hoerner down in Arizona.
So far in his first pro season, Hoerner has shown that he can hit. In the 14 games before a season-ending injury in the minors, Hoerner had a .327 average in 49 at-bats.
In the Arizona Fall League, Hoerner is batting .349, with a home run, two doubles and two triples in 63 at-bats.
The Cubs 2018 first round draft pick Nico Hoerner’s Arizona Fall League stats: 15 games, 22 hits, 31 total bases, 1 HR, 2 triples, 8 RBI, .349 AVG, .373 OBP, .492 SLG, .865 OPS. Hoerner made the AFL Fall All Star Game as well. pic.twitter.com/Z7YR1ts1ez
— Cubs Live (@Cubs_Live) November 3, 2018
Here’s what his Mesa Solar Sox coach Lou Marson said about Hoerner.
Via The Athletic.
“I like him a lot,” Lou Marson said. “To be honest, he’s my favorite player on this team.”
“He’s a very good shortstop,” Marson said. “He makes all the routine plays and has great back speed. The Cubs have a good player. I think that I see him moving through the system very quickly, especially as a college guy. Great kid, works hard. His instincts on the bases are unbelievable as well.”
“He’s an all-around player,” Marson continued. “Really falls in the dirt, stealing bases, he’s a good kid.”
Emily Waldon covers minor league baseball for The Athletic and she also shared some thoughts on the Cubs prospect after a few weeks in the Arizona Fall League.
— Emily Waldon (@EmilyCWaldon) November 3, 2018
But maybe the best thing to come out of Arizona is what other players are saying about Hoerner. These guys all have a great work ethic, but the one guy who seems to stand out on that aspect of being a pro is Hoerner.
Asked Jahmai Jones & he pointed to Nico.
For a player still at the grass roots level of his career, Nico has collected massive respect.
— Emily Waldon (@EmilyCWaldon) November 5, 2018
No, he’s not a sure-thing, star prospect like Kris Bryant or anything like that, but so far you have to love Hoerner’s start in the Cubs organization.
And hey, it’s always great if you’re right about a young player, so yeah. Go Nico Hoerner!