Sigh: Cubs 2018 First-Rounder Nico Hoerner Shut Down for the Rest of the Season

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Sigh: Cubs 2018 First-Rounder Nico Hoerner Shut Down for the Rest of the Season

Chicago Cubs

UGH. Today is just not our day, is it?

Not hours after learning that Cubs closer Brandon Morrow would be hitting the disabled list with bicep inflammation, Cub fans are receiving some more bad news. The latest won’t affect the team’s chances here in 2018, but it is still an extremely frustrating and disappointing development for the organization:

Nico Hoerner was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the first round of the 2018 June Amateur draft and has done nothing but impress in his short time as a pro. Indeed, he slashed .318/.464/.545 in Low-A earlier this year, before receiving his first major promotion to South Bend. Upon reaching the South Bend Cubs, Hoerner continued to impress with his bat (.400/.471/.667) – though it was an extremely small sample size – but really made a name for himself with his glove.

You might remember this insane leap he made in his South Bend Debut:

But that all-out, top-shelf defense at short seems to have gotten the best of him, as he’s injured his left elbow on a diving play for South Bend and will be shutdown for the remainder of the 2018 season.

According to Hoerner, himself, he will be separated from baseball activities for the next 4-6 weeks, after which, I’m assuming, he’ll be re-evaluated to see how things are going and what will be the next steps, from a baseball perspective. There’s reportedly a chance he’ll play some fall ball to make up for the lost time, but it’s obviously a bit of bummer nonetheless. When someone is playing as well as he had been, you just don’t want to see it stop.

The only optimism I can squeeze out of this for now is that it sounds like the injury happened as a result of a very specific play and, thus, is not some chronic problem the Cubs’ brass missed. And because he played college ball this year and could have the opportunity to play in the fall, there’s a chance this doesn’t drastically impact the strides he can make next season.

As a polished college shortstop with top-shelf defense, Hoerner has a chance to rise very quickly through the Cubs system. In fact, he’ll likely rise as fast as his bat will take him, and so far, it had been excellent. Hopefully, he rests well, heals quickly, and gets back out there this fall, because he has a chance to be one of the Cubs best prospects in 2019.

And not to end this bummer-party on an even more sour note, but this is now the THIRD major Cubs prospect lost for the year, after Adbert Alzolay (injury) and Oscar De La Cruz (suspended):

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami