Cubs: Nico Hoerner is flexing more power in 2022

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Nico Hoerner has been one of the absolute best storylines for this year’s Cubs team. His ability to spray the ball all over the field has made him one of the better hitting shortstops in the National League. Not to mention his contact skills, putting the bat on balls in the strike zone 93 percent of the time. He’s in the 96th percentile in Whiff% per MLB Statcast.

Hoerner, unsurprisingly given his makeup, has never been a power hitter. Line drives and finding grass has always been his game. While he still continues with that approach, this year he has been able to flex a bit more power.

Cubs seeing more home run power from Nico Hoerner in 2022

In Friday’s game against the Giants, Hoerner hit his ninth home run of the season. That is not a big number for most players. However for a guy like Hoerner, it’s certainly worth taking note of. Flirting with double-digit home runs in a season is something he has never done – either as a college or professional ballplayer.

Hoerner hit three total home runs in 168 games at Stanford University from 2016-2018. In his college-age days, his most notable run of hitting bombs was slugging six of them in Cape Cod League play in 2017. As a minor leaguer in the Cubs system, he hit a total of five between all levels. Tack on one extra homer while playing in the 2018 Arizona Fall League.

Coming into 2022, Hoerner had hit three home runs in 112 career MLB games. He had not hit a home run since 2019. He has now more than doubled his MLB career number in 2022. This is a really nice development for him. If he can still hit as he does, and then add on 10-12 homers a season, that makes his value as a player even higher. It is nice having him up in a big spot knowing, while it is still not something he does often, he has the ability to pull out the driver on occasion.

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This Cubs team needs more power production in the future. Hoerner should not be relied on to be a primary source of that power, but him having at least a little pop helps him be a more productive player. He should never abandon his personal philosophy of putting the bat on the ball, but nothing says he cannot swing for the fences from time to time.