Chicago Cubs seem likely to stay in-house at second base

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Down on the farm

Maybe it’s time to go young.  After all, we trusted Kris Bryant when he was 23 and Addison Russell at 21.  Vimael Machin, Zack Short and Nico Hoerner are banging at the door.

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Machin is not much talked about as a prospect, though my colleague recently opined that might be about to change.  In 26 games and 56 plate appearances over two seasons in Iowa, the 26-year-old slashed .302/.464/.442 with a .906 OPS.  In addition, he struck out only nine times while drawing 13 walks.  However, his fielding percentage at second suffered at Triple-A, dropping from .989 in AA to .923 in Iowa.  Some more seasoning is in order in winter ball, but a Spring Training invite ought to be in the cards.

The 24-year-old Short represents the second of the Cubs kids knocking at the door.  His Iowa debut wasn’t earth-shattering. A .211/.338/.414 slash and .751 OPS didn’t exactly set the world on fire. Neither did his .926 fielding percentage in 114 innings at second base.  His offense and defensive numbers rebounded a bit in the 2019 Arizona Fall League, but Short is probably the furthest away from the Show of the three.

That brings us to Nico Hoerner and his impressive 2019 MLB debut.  He went 3-for-5 in his first game with a triple and four RBI.  He homered in his first home game.  In his first nine contests, the 22-year-old slashed .351/.400/.568 with a .968 OPS. Ah, the stuff of which dreams are made.

Then a bit of reality set in.  Over his last 11 games, he slashed just .211/.214/.317 with a .531 OPS.  All of this is far too small a sample size to judge either way,  but most observers believe Hoerner will start in Iowa in 2020 and could be ready by 2021.

Chicago Cubs add an intriguing high upside arm via free agency. dark. Next

David Bote seems the internal favorite at second if only because his bat plays better than either Garcia or Descalso. However, don’t rule out one the kids throwing their hat in the ring during Spring Training.