Chicago Cubs: How Nico Hoerner can help team in 2020

(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs top prospect Nico Hoerner has played in just 18 games this season due to a broken wrist. How might he be able to help the team in 2020?

Nico Hoerner was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the first round of the 2018 MLB Draft and had been rising through the minors before he fractured his wrist earlier this season. Oddly enough, Hoerner has dealt with several injuries so far in his professional career but has continued to move up quickly.

Last season he suffered an elbow injury that ended his year, but he played well in the Arizona Fall League and had been doing well at Double-A Tennessee this year. He figures to be about a week away from playing in games again and hopefully he can return to the lineup without missing a beat.

Hoerner is projected to be ready as soon as next season and with the uncertainty at the second base position, he would fill in nicely there. Javier Baez has a firm grasp on the shortstop position, so it’s every man for himself at second base. The Cubs have been using Addison Russell, Daniel Descalso, David Bote and, prior to leaving the team, Ben Zobrist.

Zobrist is a free agent after this season, Descalso could find himself unemployed with the way he’s been playing this season and Russell’s future with the team is a big unknown right now. If Nico Hoerner continues at this trajectory, he would be the perfect bat to be the everyday second basemen next year.

The Cubs knew when they drafted Hoerner that he is a line-drive hitter and not a pure slugger. He might hit 10 bombs a year but he is going to do most of his damage with hard-hit balls to the drive to the gaps. The team needs a bat like his in the lineup because right now they have a lot of sluggers who, when slumping, make the offense essentially non-existent.

Hoerner’s bat would be the addition the team needs to keep the line moving in the order, get on base, and drive in runs. It’s no secret that the Cubs are the worst in the National League in terms of batting average with runners-in-scoring-position (RISP).

He slashed 0.337/0.362/0.506 in 21 games in the Arizona Fall League to end the 2018 season and was slashing 0.300/0.391/0.500 with Double-A Tennessee prior to the fractured wrist. As previously noted, Hoerner has just 1 home run this season but had 5 doubles in just 18 games.

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Unless he’s traded to acquire more bullpen help, Nico Hoerner is the next position prospect Cubs fans should be excited about, and I think he can change the dynamic of the lineup to provide more consistency.