Nico Hoerner

Nico Hoerner

26-Year-Old ShortstopSS
Chicago Cubs
2024 Fantasy Outlook
Hoerner took hold of a starting job for the Cubs in 2022 and produced a .281/.327/.410 slash line with 10 homers, 20 steals, 55 RBI and 60 runs in 135 games, and he followed up with similar production last season. He moved from shortstop to second base in 2023 following the signing of Dansby Swanson and had nine long balls, 43 steals, 98 runs and 68 RBI with a .729 OPS across 150 contests. Those figures resulted in a 102 wRC+, and he was sixth in the league in stolen bases while being caught seven times. He hit 46.9 percent of his balls on the ground and didn't consistently make solid contact with a 1.7 percent barrel rate and 33.0 percent hard-hit rate, both of which rank near the bottom for qualified hitters. However, none of those figures are significantly different from the previous year, which indicates his production over the past two seasons is sustainable. Hoerner should provide a strong average with plenty of runs and stolen bases for fantasy managers again in 2024 with his high-contact, low-power approach, though he's unlikely to be a significant contributor in other categories. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
#68
ADP
$Signed a three-year, $35 million contract extension with the Cubs in March of 2023.
Moves to injured list
SSChicago Cubs
Knee
October 1, 2023
Hoerner was placed on the 10-day injured list Sunday with a left knee contusion, Meghan Montemurro of the Chicago Tribune reports.
ANALYSIS
The 26-year-old suffered the injury during Friday's loss to the Brewers and will shift to the injured list after the Cubs were eliminated from playoff contention Saturday. It doesn't seem to be a serious injury, so Hoerner should have a relatively normal offseason. He closes 2023 with a .283/.346/.383 slash line, nine homers, 43 steals, 68 RBI and 98 runs in 150 games.
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Batting Stats
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2023
2022
2021
2020
2019
2023 MLB Game Log
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2022 MLB Game Log
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2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
35
67
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
39
8
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2021
 
 
+1%
OPS vs LHP
2023
 
 
+5%
OPS vs LHP
2022
 
 
+3%
OPS vs LHP
2021
 
 
+25%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2021vs Left .741 366 48 3 38 24 .293 .339 .402
Since 2021vs Right .733 1009 123 16 101 44 .281 .345 .388
2023vs Left .756 180 33 1 18 15 .306 .344 .412
2023vs Right .719 508 65 8 50 28 .274 .347 .372
2022vs Left .754 132 11 2 16 6 .294 .326 .429
2022vs Right .730 385 49 8 39 14 .276 .327 .403
2021vs Left .641 54 4 0 4 3 .244 .352 .289
2021vs Right .800 116 9 0 12 2 .327 .397 .404
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2021
 
 
+18%
OPS at Home
2023
 
 
+11%
OPS at Home
2022
 
 
+19%
OPS at Home
2021
 
 
+46%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2021Home .794 697 94 10 82 35 .309 .372 .422
Since 2021Away .675 678 77 9 57 33 .259 .314 .361
2023Home .765 356 59 6 40 21 .291 .363 .402
2023Away .691 332 39 3 28 22 .274 .328 .363
2022Home .800 255 31 4 32 12 .318 .357 .444
2022Away .674 262 29 6 23 8 .244 .298 .376
2021Home .892 86 4 0 10 2 .356 .453 .438
2021Away .612 84 9 0 6 3 .250 .310 .303
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Stat Review
How does Nico Hoerner compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Expected BA
    Expected Batting Average.
  • Expected SLG
    Expected Slugging Percentage.
  • Sprint Speed
    The speed of a runner from home to first, in feet per second.
  • Ground Ball %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are on the ground.
  • Line Drive %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are line drives.
  • Fly Ball %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are fly balls.
BB/K
0.59
 
BB Rate
7.1%
 
K Rate
12.1%
 
BABIP
.312
 
ISO
.100
 
AVG
.283
 
OBP
.346
 
SLG
.383
 
OPS
.729
 
wOBA
.326
 
Exit Velocity
86.6 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
23.6%
 
Barrels/PA
1.5%
 
Expected BA
.272
 
Expected SLG
.355
 
Sprint Speed
24.7 ft/sec
 
Ground Ball %
46.9%
 
Line Drive %
19.1%
 
Fly Ball %
34.1%
 
Prospect Rankings History
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
Games By Position
Defensive Stats
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Batted Ball Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Nico Hoerner See More
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2023
2022
2021
2020
2019
Hoerner's role to begin 2022 was murky after Chicago added Andrelton Simmons in March, but the veteran shortstop battled injuries and played in only 35 games before he was cut loose in August. Hoerner worked as the Cubs' primary shortstop and was a plus defender, and he finished the year with a .281/.327/.410 slash line, 10 home runs, 55 RBI and 20 stolen bases. Entering the year, he had only three homers and eight stolen in 112 career games, so the improvements in those areas are a significant development for his fantasy appeal. Hoerner should have a starting spot in the middle infield to open 2023, regardless of whether or not the Cubs bring in a shortstop via free agency.
Hoerner is the other half of the powerless duo which was expected make up the bottom two spots of the Cubs' batting order in 2022. Hoerner does not have the elite bat-to-ball skills that Nick Madrigal has, but he hit .304 in college and .294 in the minors while maintaining a .272 average at the major-league level. He has 90th percentile sprint speed yet has done little running at the big-league level, stealing eight bases in 13 attempts. He appeared set to start in the middle infield alongside Madrigal in 2022, but Chicago opted to bring in veteran shortstop Andrelton Simmons. Hoerner's outlook is now clouded by the addition, as there is now no clear path to an everyday role if everyone remains healthy.
Hoerner acquitted himself quite well in 2019, as his .282/.305/.436 line in 20 games at the MLB level was quite impressive for someone who played in just 89 career minor-league games. He wasn't able to carry that level of success into his second season, however, looking overmatched en route to a .222/.312/.259 slash line with zero homers. He'll still be 23 on Opening Day and was only just drafted in 2018, so it's not as if we should give up on him at this stage. He'll also seemingly get the playing time necessary to keep developing, with the Cubs selling off pieces. There are some red flags, however, particularly pertaining to the notion of fantasy upside. His contact simply isn't nearly good enough, as his career 1.3% barrel rate and 2.2 degree launch angle demonstrate. His defensive versatility and youth will get him playing time, while his contact skill and modest speed are the top selling points in fantasy.
Hoerner would have debuted in 2020 under normal circumstances, but he was the best option at shortstop in September when Javier Baez and Addison Russell got hurt, so he got the emergency callup with the Cubs fighting for a playoff spot. Including a 2018 stint in the Arizona Fall League, Hoerner only played 110 games before reaching the majors, yet he hit .282 with a 13.4 K% and didn't look overmatched at all. He could end up with a plus hit tool, which will be important, as he doesn't have any other plus tools. Hoerner could develop 20-homer power and may chip in 8-10 steals, but the main selling point is that he could be a good enough hitter to bat second in a good lineup. His walk rate should improve as he gets more reps. Baez isn't going anywhere, but Hoerner could be his long-term double-play partner. In the short term, he may head to Triple-A for a couple months before joining the MLB roster for good.
Rarely does a hitter get sent to the Arizona Fall League the year he was drafted. Even rarer is the prospect who gets that assignment and performs as one of the league's best hitters. Hoerner finished his season by hitting .337/.362/.506 in 89 AFL at-bats, but let's go back at the beginning. The Cubs selected the Stanford shortstop with the No. 24 pick in the draft -- potentially this regime's best pick since Kris Bryant in 2013. Hoerner may not stick at shortstop, but unlike recent first-round picks Kyle Schwarber and Ian Happ, making consistent contact shouldn't be a problem. Hoerner produced with a wood bat in the Northwoods and Cap Cod leagues, and that success carried over across brief stops at three levels before an elbow injury ended his regular season, prompting the AFL assignment. If he maxes out, Hoerner will be a plus hitter with plus speed and 15-homer pop. He should be one of the first 2018 draftees to reach the majors.
More Fantasy News
Available off bench
SSChicago Cubs
Knee
September 30, 2023
Hoerner (knee) won't start Saturday's game against the Brewers but will be available off the bench, Tony Andracki of Marquee Sports Network reports.
ANALYSIS
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Diagnosed with knee contusion
SSChicago Cubs
Knee
September 29, 2023
Hoerner departed Friday's game against the Brewers with a left knee contusion, Maddie Lee of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
ANALYSIS
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Exits with apparent injury
SSChicago Cubs
Knee
September 29, 2023
Hoerner was pulled from Friday's game against the Brewers with an apparent knee injury, Tim Stebbins of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Reaches base four times in win
SSChicago Cubs
September 23, 2023
Hoerner went 2-for-2 with two walks, two RBI and one run scored in Saturday's victory over the Rockies.
ANALYSIS
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Gets aboard four times in loss
SSChicago Cubs
September 16, 2023
Hoerner went 2-for-5 with two walks, two RBI, one stolen base and one run scored in Saturday's 7-6 extra-innings loss to the Diamondbacks.
ANALYSIS
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