Image of
Nickname:   N/A Position:   2B-SS
Home: N/A Team:   CUBS
Height: 6' 1" Bats:   R
Weight: 200 Throws:   R
DOB: 5/13/1997 Agent: N/A
Uniform #: 2  
Birth City: Oakland, CA
Draft: Cubs #1 - 2018 - Out of Stanford Univ. (CA)
2018 MWL SOUTH BEND   4 15 1 6 1 0 1 3 0 0 2 1 .471 .667 .400
2018 NWL EUGENE   7 22 6 7 0 1 1 2 4 1 5 3 .464 .545 .318
2018 AZL AZL-Cubs   3 12 3 3 1 1 0 1 2 0 2 0 .400 .500 .250
2019 AZL MESA   5 20 2 8 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 .429 .450 .400
2019 SL TENNESSEE   70 268 37 76 16 3 3 22 8 4 21 31 .344 .399 .284
2019 NL CUBS   20 78 13 22 1 1 3 17 0 0 3 11 .305 .436 .282
  • Hoerner was the team captain for three years at Head Royce High School in Oakland, California. Nico never missed one game in high school baseball.
    He also lettered two years in soccer and one in basketball

  • In the summer of 2015, Hoerner volunteered at an orphanage in Peru, Alameda Food Bank, St. Vincent de Paul Community Center.

  • Nico's mother, Kella Diehl, graduated from Stanford in 1985. His father is Fred Hoerner.

  • Hoerner was off to Stanford on a baseball scholarship in 2016.

  • Following his sophomore season, Nico spent the summer in the Cape Cod League with Yarmouth-Dennis. And he earned all-star honors. He was one of the most consistent players in the league, putting together professional at bats and barreling up balls.

  • Hoerner has an excellent approach to the game.

  • June 2018: Nico was the Cubs #1 pick, out of Stanford. And Hoerner signed for a bonus of $2,724,000, via scout Gabe Zappin.

  • Most of Nico's free time was spent on the baseball field, simply because that's where he wanted to be. Hoerner never needed his family or an AAU coach to push him to get out on the diamond. His fire to be successful has always come from within.

    "I think why baseball has continued to be so enjoyable for me is that I was never supposed to play college baseball or supposed to get drafted," Hoerner said in August, 2018. "It wasn't part of some bigger plan that any coach or my parents had for me It's just a relationship with the game that has developed naturally.

    "It was never working hard so that I could go to Stanford or that I could be a first rounder. It was just to be the best that I could be, and that remains true." (Phil Barnes - Vine Line - August, 2018)

  • 2018 Season: Though he played just 14 games in his pro debut before straining ligaments in his left elbow while diving for a ball, that was long enough to show why scouts considered him one of the best offensive-minded middle infielders available. Hoerner has exceptional hand-eye coordination, an advanced approach and developing power.

  • In 2019, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Hoerner as the #1 prospect in the Cubs' farm system.

  • There was a moment last season when David Esquer, Stanford’s head baseball coach, had to pull Nico Hoerner aside. Esquer needed to tell the young shortstop to stop playing so hard.

    “He had a little bit of a hamstring issue,” Esquer said. “I had to say, ‘Hey, Nico, I need you to kind of big league it when you hit a grounder to second. I don’t need you to run like your hair’s on fire.’”

    Esquer said that message was hard for Hoerner to hear, because winning was all the infielder cared about. But, Hoerner was willing to slow himself down if his coach felt it was best for the team in the long run.

    Now in the Cubs’ system, the 21-year-old Hoerner is again showing a willingness to do what the team believes is best with the long-view in mind. He’s open-minded about analytics. He’s open to moving off shortstop in the name of increasing versatility. He has tweaked his stance, changed his arm slot, identified two-strike approach as an area to improve and craves as much information and input as possible.

    “He’s just that special player,” Esquer said. “His game directly translates into the big league game. And his work ethic and just his love of the game, he was a game-changing personality for us at Stanford. There are those program changers — just all into the team, just tough mentality and real supportive of his teammates.

    “He’s just driven to win and really just selling out for his team. And I knew that would translate with the Cubs. It’s a perfect match.” (Jordan Bastian - - March 21, 2019)

  • MLB debut - Sept. 10, 2019: Nico Hoerner, an unexpected callup even to himself, made his Major League debut a stylish one by collecting three hits and four RBIs to lead the Cubs to a 10-2 victory over the Padres at Petco Park. Hoerner had the numerous Cubs fans who invaded Petco Park chanting “Nico! Nico! Nico!” during his surprise unveiling.

  • Hoerner has a quick, short righthanded stroke and the ability to consistently barrel the ball, nailing line-drives for lots of doubles, and his home runs were be more often as he develops as a hitter.

    Hoerner’s knack for putting the bat on the ball stands out, but that contact did not come with a significant skew toward one side of the field. He sprayed line drives from gap to gap, though most of his power was to his pull side.

    As suggested by his contact skills, Hoerner also showed an excellent approach with two strikes and did not give away at-bats. Those skills give him a chance to be a plus hitter with below-average power. (Josh Norris - Baseball America Prospect Handbook - Spring, 2019)

  • Nico has the athleticism, aptitude, bat speed and hand-eye coordination to work with their hitting instructors and maximize his launch angle.

  • Nico's approach to the game and advanced feel for hitting drew many supporters heading into the 2018 June Draft.

  • He is an elite contact guy that can barrel a ball up in the zone.

    "I never will be a home run hitter," Hoerner said. "Home runs are something that will happen as I learn to use my body and learn the pitchers. That's what all the guys [Cubs players he met with] were telling me. All of them didn't hit for power in the Minor Leagues and now they're clearing the bleachers."

    That was the message Hoerner got from Cubs' hitting coach Chili Davis. The Bay Area native grew up an A's fan and remembers Davis from his time as Oakland's hitting coach.

    "He talked about just learning to hit and the power coming," Hoerner said. "We're in an age of baseball that talks so much about swing mechanics and he talked about competing with the pitcher. That's refreshing to hear."  (Muskat - - 7/19/18)

  • During one stretch in Spring Training 2019, Nico reached base in eight consecutive plate appearances.  What stood out to Cubs manager Joe Maddon was Hoerner's preparation before those at-bats.

    "He's very composed for a young man," Maddon said. "A very bright young man. He really sees things and analyzes in advance. His commentary with me when he's in the hole before he goes to the on-deck circle is always poignant. He's always on top of things. I've been impressed with all of that."  (Bastian - - 3/21/19)

  • Sept 9, 2019: The Cubs’ stopgap solution at shortstop just wouldn’t stop at Petco Park. Nico Hoerner, an unexpected callup even to himself, made his Major League debut a stylish one by collecting three hits and four RBIs to lead the Cubs to a 10-2 victory over the Padres. Hoerner had the numerous Cubs fans who invaded Petco Park chanting “Nico! Nico! Nico!” during his surprise unveiling.

    “That was about as good as it gets right there,” Hoerner said.

    The callup was a surprise not because of his talent. MLB Pipeline ranks Hoerner as the Cubs’ top prospect and the No. 47 prospect in baseball. It was a surprise because Hoerner was chilling back home in Oakland after completing the Minor League season with Double-A Tennessee. He was preparing to play with the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League.

    But Javier Baez went down with a left thumb fracture on Sept. 1. And the next man up, Addison Russell, was hit by a pitch in the head and was in concussion protocol. Even Triple-A Iowa shortstop Dixon Machado was injured.

    So Hoerner got the call and jetted down to San Diego, thrust in the middle of the Cubs’ pursuit of the postseason. By the time the game ended, he had become only the second Cubs player in history to record three hits and four RBIs in his big league debut, joining Dee Fondy, who did it on April 17, 1951, at Wrigley Field vs. the Reds.

    “You could have just put a spotlight on him the entire evening,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “He made some really good plays, had some really good at-bats, ran the bases well. None of that really surprised us. That’s what he’s capable of doing.”

    Before Hoerner took the field, Maddon praised Hoerner’s “bat-to-ball skills” and noted his self-confidence.

    Hoerner made good on Maddon’s assessment in his first Major League plate appearance, poking an 0-2 slider from Cal Quantrill into right field for a single to lead off the second inning.

    “He didn’t try to pull it; he didn’t try to do too much with it,” Maddon said. “He’s got some nice skills.”

    Two innings later, Hoerner reached on a forceout and came around to score his first run, diving headfirst into home plate after a wild pitch by Quantrill. In the fifth, Hoerner pulled a 1-0 slider from Quantrill down the left-field line and into the corner for a triple and his first two RBIs.

    Hoerner, a 22-year-old who was the Cubs’ first-round pick in the 2018 fraft, had crossed paths with Quantrill at Stanford in 2016 when he was a freshman and the future Padres right-hander was a junior on the mend from Tommy John surgery. Hoerner texted their common college teammate, Cardinals infielder Tommy Edman,  and got an updated report on Quantrill.

    “He said he’s more slider-sinker now,” Hoerner revealed.

    Funny thing is, Maddon had told Hoerner not to worry about scouting reports and to just go out and play.

    Cubs fans, many clustered behind the visitor’s dugout on the third-base side, broke into their “Nico! Nico! Nico” chant.

    “That was probably the most unexpected part of today,” Hoerner said. “On the baseball side of it, I thought it was solid. That part of it, obviously, is otherwordly. That’s not something you get in every organization, regardless of how well you play.” 

  • Hoerner’s debut was not just one of those memorable baseball moments. It buoyed the Cubs right when they needed some good vibes.

    “It’s huge,” winning pitcher Kyle Hendricks said of Hoerner’s immediate impact. “It just brings a whole different energy. It lifts the whole ballclub up. We were so fired up for him in the dugout. It’s just awesome to see somebody come up and perform, have a game like that right out of the gate.” (S O'Neill - - Sept 9, 2019)

  • Nico exhibits quick-twitch athleticism moving to balls. He has solid shortstop skills across the board, except that his arm is more suited to lacking base, lacking the strength for the long throw from the hole.

  • Hoerner is not very fluid or smooth in his actions at shortstop. But he flashes the athleticism that should make him an up-the-middle defender.

    “We knew he’d be able to handle the challenge mentally,” farm director Jaron Madisonsaid. “We weren’t sure if the missed time would affect him, but he was locked in.

    “From the first couple games, he showed really well on both sides of the ball. With his maturity and leadership, we knew he was going to be able to hold his own and do well there. He probably even exceeded our expectations.” (Josh Norris - Baseball America - 1/11/2019)


  • Defensively, he’s not going to wow evaluators with highlight reel plays or extraordinary range, but he’s not going to make many foolish mistakes, either. The Cubs compare him with the Cardinals’ Paul DeJong, who doesn’t jump off the page at shortstop but has managed to stick there because of his instincts.

    Hoerner has the arm strength to stick at shortstop but needs to become more consistent with his mechanics. Specifically, the Cubs want him to work through the ball more often when he throws and use his momentum to keep the ball true to his target.

    The Cubs see a scenario where Nico’s athleticism would allow him to move around the diamond, like Ian Happ. (BA Prospect Handbook - Josh Norris - Spring, 2019)

  • Nico is a 6.8 seconds in the 60 runner. He has 55 grade speed.
Career Injury Report
  • July 18-end of 2018 season: Hoerner was on the DL with a ligament strain in his left elbow, ending his season. But he was able to play in the fall in the AFL.

  • April 27-July 4, 2019: Nico was placed on the IL after being hit by a pitch on his wrist.