49. Nico Hoerner, SS, Cubs
Much of the top of the Cubs system is filled with players who are risk-reward types -- or who have boom-bust profiles. Nico Hoerner, who has already experienced life in the majors, is an exception in a sense, and what he lacks in ceiling he makes up for in immediate availability. There is perhaps more potential downside than realized, however. Hoerner, Chicago's first-round pick in 2018 by way of Stanford, more than held his own in Double-A this season despite dealing with injury and relative inexperience. Even when he was called up to the majors late in the year -- the rare "break glass in case of emergency" promotion after Javier Baez, Addison Russell, and Dixon Machado all went on the shelf -- he hit .282/.305/.436 in 20 games. Those marks may not be far off from his norm. Hoerner's hit tool is his best offensive attribute and there's a chance it plays as plus. There's also a chance -- due to an aggressive approach and gap power -- that it underperforms, or that he posts an empty average, in which case his bat might be too light to start everyday. For now, that's to be seen. To Hoerner's credit, he receives high marks for his intelligent and instincts, and that bodes well for him making the necessary adjustments as required. Provided Baez remains in town as the shortstop, Hoerner ought to be just fine defensively at second base, giving the Cubs one of the savviest double-play combinations in the game.
BA should be putting out their Cubs top 10 this week, NL Central's up