Nico Hoerner came to the Cubs out of necessity last September, when injuries to Javier Baez and Addison Russell left the club without a shortstop. He’d played just 89 games in the Cubs system after being their No. 1 pick (24th overall) in 2018.
Hoerner held his own in a pennant race against big-league pitching, hitting .282/.305/.436 (22-for-78) with three home runs, and playing solid defense.
This is the time of year when Top 100 Prospect lists have come out. You’ve seen Josh’s list here at BCB. Now MLB Pipeline has come out with their own list, and Nico is ranked 51st. That’s the highest ranking I’ve seen so far for the Cubs infielder, who has a chance to break spring camp this year on the 26-man roster.
Three other Cubs made MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 list:
- Lefthanded pitcher Brailyn Marquez, 68th
- Outfielder Brennen Davis, 78th
- Catcher Miguel Amaya, 95th
Hoerner, Marquez and Davis were on Baseball America’s list, which came out last week. Amaya and outfielder Cole Roederer were on the “just missed” list for BA. Here’s what MLB Pipeline said about the four Cubs prospects on their list:
The Cubs’ ability to churn out quality position prospects resulted in a long-awaited World Series title, but their inability to develop pitchers has hurt their chances of adding another championship. Though Marquez is a potential frontline starter, Hoerner, Davis and Amaya testify that the system is still deeper in bats than arms.
This is a fair analysis. As you know, the Cubs have another prospect, Adbert Alzolay, who has a chance to make the 2020 rotation. Alzolay made four appearances (two starts) for the Cubs last year.
Hoerner, Davis, Marquez and Amaya are Josh’s four top Cubs prospects in his annual countdown. Here’s what he wrote about them a couple of weeks ago.
You’ll certainly see Amaya, along with Hoerner, in big-league spring training games, as Amaya was added to the 40-man roster this winter. I would expect Davis and Marquez to play in a big-league spring game or two early in the season just to give them a little experience against major-league pitching.
Spring training games — real baseball! — are less than four weeks away.