Cubs Prospect 2018 Statistical Overview - The Hitters

Nico Hoerner (photo by Rikk Carlson)

Nico Hoerner (photo by Rikk Carlson)

The Top Ten

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The Middle

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The Youngsters

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The Fringe

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The Graduates

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The Departed

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Comments

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  • Thanks, Michael, for putting this welcome information together.

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    This is great Michael. There is hope for us and if Nico continues his progress I would guess he might be up at the middle or end of next year.
    Is his defense as good as his offense? Who would be better defensively at SS, Nico or Addy?
    Thanks.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Middle of next year would be a stretch. Next Aug/Sept would probably be best case scenario as a part time player. Sometime 2020 more likely for when he could take over as a full time player.

    Russell is the better defender. Javy too. Hoerner can make some highlight reel plays because of his speed and leaping ability, but he isn't as fluid as the Cubs current duo. Addy makes some really tough plays look easy because he is so smooth. With Hoerner those plays will look like a challenge and sometimes they won't get made. I don't have a great read on Hoerner's arm right now. There just isn't much tape for me to go off with him ranging deep into the hole. More of his plays occurred up the middle of the diamond. I see no reason he can't be a solid or maybe even a little above average SS (assuming his arm proves adequate to the task). I haven't seen much of him at 2B, but he is a plus athlete for that spot and could well be a plus defender there.

    Hoerner really has an all-around game. He really barrels the ball up easily. He is capable of using the whole field. He has a good eye. The power will come. There is no issue with bat speed, he is just currently geared to try to take most pitches to RF, and will often make hard contact early in counts. Once he learns to turn on the ball a little more and wait for a pitch in a hitter's count, I think 15+ HR is achievable, maybe even more. His speed is plus. With the obvious exception of Gore, Hoerner would be right there with Javy for fastest guy on the team, and might even be a step faster. He will fit right in with this team going 1st to 3rd with regularity. He has the athletic profile to move all over the diamond (and OF if necessary).

    Once I went back through and watched him again after the season, he really stood out as the best position player in the system to me. And I say that as a guy that has been on the Amaya bandwagon since he was hitting .220 in the NWL last year. Hoerner is going to be the better offensive player, and will fill an up the middle defensive position. I believe the folks that were upset by his selection will be won over next year.

    I'll have a full write up on Hoerner probably next week.

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    In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Thanks for that Michael. You know that I would have picked Xavier Edwards and all that I read about him is superior to Nico, and Nico sounds really good. I will be comparing them throughout their careers.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    For what it is worth, I like Edwards as well. I do think he can become a very good top of the order hitter. More risk with him though. I think Hoerner is a safer bet and has more power potential. Edwards has superior speed.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Edwards reminds me of Trea Turner.

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    In reply to Michael Ernst:

    I wanted Trea Turner rather than Schwarber. I don't think Turner would have won (or helped win) a WS like Schwarbs did, but then maybe he wouldn't have been injured all year. I will be looking at their careers also.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Same here. I also was hoping they'd sign Yelich, as a top of the order hitter. It all comes back to relying on the "new" ideas brought about by advanced stats. Baseball is one helluva complicated gamed. I agree with the other commenters who have been saying that OBP simply isn't the be all and end all. I'm not knocking the acquisition of Russell, but to me a guy like Turner offers more because he's a true top of the order hitter, which the Cubs, IMO, sorely lack. To me, this last off season was simply puzzling, both with the player acquisitions as well as with the coaching staff moves.

  • In reply to markw:

    The Cubs have never had a chance to sign Yelich. He has never been a free agent.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    My comment about those being upset by his selection is more geared toward the idea that Hoerner was not a 1st round worthy selection, not about those preferring a specific player over him. I think a lot of people just looked at the BA and MLB.com rankings that had Hoerner in the 50-60 range and thought the Cubs were crazy or going cheap, when I think it is far more accurate to say that BA and MLB were just way off in their evals of Hoerner. There is nothing from an offensive, defensive, base running, or off the field perspective that marks Hoerner as anything other than a worthy 1st round pick.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    I am happy with the FO's track record on first round picks. Our scouting department is far superior to BA and MLB scouts. I am looking forward to seeing Nico on the Cubs in 2-3 years.

  • As much as I would like to see Nico at the top of the Cub lineup, I am hoping the Cubs do not rush him through the system like Kyle Schwarber and Ian Happ

    Kyle spent less than two half-seasons in the minors, playing just a handful of games in the OF. Ian totalled less than two full seasons in the minors, only 26 games at AAA. Both are having to work on their flaws at the MLB level.

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    If he does come up anytime soon it will be due to a catastrophic spate of injuries or the team making a conscious choice to push him. With Russell-Baez and Bote set to be the middle infield next year, with Short-Giambrone ready to step in from AAA if the need arises, there should really be no need to even consider Hoerner as an option in 2019.

  • Ian Happ is a mess at the plate right now. 44 K's in his last 88 AB's.

  • Great data on the hitters. We have a huge amount of depth in the system and I would not be surprised if we continue to bring up guys like Bote and Caratini in a year when we supposedly had a terrible farm system as rated by BA and MLB. This is what the Cards did year in year out and now we are going to do it to them and the rest of the league. :-)

  • @ 2016 Cubs,

    Tx for the correction. What I shoulda said was I really wanted to see the Cubs make a concerted effort to get Yelich because I believe they sorely need a true top of the order hitter--enough already of Rizzo in the #1 slot, etc.

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