Chicago Cubs have a Rookie of the Year candidate in Nico Hoerner

(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: What does Hoerner’s minor league performance show?

As promising as Hoerner’s limited time with the Cubs was last year, it was an admittedly small sample size. With that in mind, it makes more sense to look what he’s done in his young professional career to try and get a better picture of what the future could look like.

"“Clearly he exceeded our expectations in that spot. What that means going forward, I can’t answer at this point,” Jed Hoyer told NBC Sports Chicago. “But I think it’s safe to say we hold him in incredibly high regard and whatever number of games in September that he played in — I’m still incredibly impressed that he can go from being at home to starting the next night and performing the way he did.”"

In 89 career minor league games, the former Stanford standout carries a .297/.365/.427 line. That on-base number stands out, largely because of how much he relied on making contact at the big league level, rather than drawing walks (he drew just three walks in 82 plate appearances).

He spent the majority of 2019 with Double-A Tennessee. In 294 plate appearances, Hoerner worked to a .344 OBP, drawing 21 walks alongside just 31 punchouts – an obviously promising ratio. It remains to be seen whether or not that type of presence will translate over the course of a full major league season, but all signs seem to indicate that it will eventually.