Chicago Cubs: Three young players to follow this year

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Chicago Cubs, Nico Hoerner

(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

Prospect #1: IF Nico Hoerner

Nico Hoerner might be able to come up and make a big impact on the Chicago Cubs.

I know that this is kind of cheating but the one Cubs prospect that you may see really soon at Wrigley Field is infielder Nico Hoerner. A lot of fans were surprised to not see him on the 25-man roster for Opening Day.

The Cubs decided to go with David Bote to start the season at second base with journeyman infielder Eric Sogard as the backup. Despite this, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Hoerner up in the majors as soon as one of those players starts to struggle.

Hoerner got some good major league experience during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. He only hit .222 at the plate but showed patience with a .312 OBP last season. Obviously, these numbers need to improve if he’s to play every day but it’s a decent foundation.

For a lot of Cubs fans, they’re ready to see what Hoerner can do even if he’s struggling a bit at first. I hate to be so defeatist but the team is unlikely to make a playoff run this year. I feel it’s better to give young players like Hoerner a shot rather than someone like Sogard.

For now, Hoerner will have to show his dominance with the Iowa Cubs but don’t expect him to stay in AAA for very long. If any position player is injured, Hoerner is likely the first man up from the minors to take that spot. If he does get significant at-bats, he needs to show improvement this season. I’m anxious to see how he fares this year.

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