Jed Hoyer has been talking a lot about the 2022 Cubs lately, and much of the focus has been on spending, which is no doubt the most important avenue for improvement next year. One thing that has gone a little under the radar though, is what Hoyer had to say about Nico Hoerner and Nick Madrigal for 2022.
In this recent article by Tim Stebbins, Hoyer is asked about the roles that will be played in 2022 by Hoerner and Madrigal, and he had this to say:
Hoyer said the expectation right now is Madrigal will be the second baseman next year. Hoerner's versatility opens up different options for the Cubs this winter.
"He's going to be a significant piece of our team next year and going forward," Hoyer said. "Exactly what position I think is sort of undecided, but that's the beauty of it.
So at least at this time, the Cubs are not committing to Hoerner as their full-time SS for 2022. I thought I would pose some different possibilities for Hoerner and see what people think.
Hoerner is the full-time SS
This doesn't seem ideal since Madrigal is supposed to be a mediocre defensive 2B, and Hoerner is supposed to be a mediocre defensive SS, and having weak defense up the middle can cause a ripple effect on the groundball pitchers who start and also the bullpen.
He becomes the full-time CF
This would be ideal if we knew Hoerner could be an adequate CF, but we don't know yet. He's played very little CF in his professional career, and it's not an easy position to master.
He becomes a super-utility guy
People like to say Zobrist-type, but Zobrist was really good defensively at multiple positions, and he was even good enough to play an adequate SS and CF in his younger days. I don't know if Hoerner can do that.
He plays 2022 in AAA
This might seem harsh for a highly regarded prospect entering his age 25 season, but remember that Hoerner was fast tracked through both AA and AAA, and we don't really even know if he's a good major league hitter yet. If they do want him to become a CF, this may be a way to get him some needed everyday hitting experience while learning a new position
Hoerner is traded
You hate to give up a guy with Hoerner's potential at such a young age, but this could be a rare trade of prospect-for-prospect with Hoerner going for a young, ML-ready pitcher or outfielder.
Please share your thoughts and vote in the poll. I'm looking for user opinions here, not necessarily what you think Jed Hoyer and David Ross will do.
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