Chicago Cubs shortstop prospect Nico Hoerner was continuing to turn heads thanks to a blistering start to his first full professional season, which came at an aggressive assignment at AA, when he took a pitch off the right wrist last week. That landed him on the Injured List, where he is still, but thankfully it’s not a matter of any broken bones.
Might look scary, but I've heard that tests have shown nothing structurally wrong (which is obviously good news). The focus now, I'm told, is on getting the inflammation out of the lower hand/wrist area so he can resume baseball activities. https://t.co/3w1aV8Vc1V
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) May 2, 2019
Hopefully, then, the 21-year-old 2018 first rounder will get right back to his .293/.388/.483 (157 wRC+) line very soon.
In the meantime, about those heads being turned. We knew this was coming as soon as prospects started getting re-ranked. You can’t rake in the Arizona Fall League right after you’re drafted as a shortstop, then rake in Spring Training, and then get assigned straight to AA – where you keep raking – and not fly up the prospect rankings:
Hoerner, who was previously at 94, jumped a full 30 spots to 64 – which is a pretty ridiculous leap for a single month. If he comes back healthy and keeps doing what he was doing, I don’t think there’s any way you could resist having Hoerner as a consensus top 50 prospect in the game, which would be the Cubs’ first since the previous wave graduated.
Bonus love for Nico from an old friend:
Nico Hoerner: BB/K 0.88, OPS .871.
Between 2012 and 2016 here are the only guys in the Southern League to post a BB/K over 0.80 and an OPS over .800
All but Rademacher are MLB guys.
— Luke Blaize (@ltblaize) April 30, 2019