It sounds like the Cubs have officially locked down their top overall pick from this year’s MLB Draft.
Per Jon Heyman:
sources: Cubs sign Stanford SS Nico Hoerner, No. 24 pick overall. cubs have had big success with college hitters lately (Bryant, Schwarber, Happ). @PJ_Mooney said a week ago the sides were finalizing deal, but it's Stanford, and team let him concentrate on finals last week.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) June 20, 2018
Hoerner, 21, is not believed to be in the same group as those three mentioned by Heyman in terms of his bat, but he is believed to be a capable defensive shortstop with an all-around big-league-caliber bat. Depending on how the development goes, that’s a profile that can become an impact player – it just looks a little different than you may be used to when thinking of a Cubs first round college bat. And, hey, let’s never rule out the possibility that a quality bat can develop more power. After all, the Cubs know how to scout and develop power in young players.
You could certainly make an argument that Hoerner immediately becomes the top positional prospect in the Cubs’ farm system, which is heavy on young potential and older complementary value, but light on true impact talent. More on Hoerner here and here.
Patrick Mooney previously reported that Hoerner’s deal is expected to be for right around the $2,724,000 slot value for the 24th overall pick.
The Cubs announced their first official wave of signings this past weekend, with 10 players already in the system.
You can expect Hoerner to head to Arizona to get acclimated in the Cubs’ system for a few days before heading out on assignment to really begin his professional career, likely with the short-season Low-A Eugene Emeralds to begin. From there, he could see time with the full-season Low-A South Bend Cubs before the year is up, and, if there’s a playoff race, it’s not impossible he’d finish up with the High-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans.