The Chicago Cubs reportedly will promote top prospect Nico Hoerner from Double-A to play shortstop at the major-league level.
Hoerner — the team’s top draft pick in 2018 — is needed by the big-league club because of several injuries: Javier Baez’s fractured left thumb, Addison Russell getting hitting in the head by a pitch, and Triple-A shortstop Dixon Machado’s injured hamstring.
Hoerner himself has missed significant playing time due to injuries suffered during his two seasons as a pro. His stint with the South Bend Cubs last year was cut short after he suffered a ligament injury in his left elbow when diving for a ball. He ended up playing only four games in the Midwest League.
He played in Double-A this year after missing part of the early season due to a fractured left wrist. He batted .284 with 22 extra-base hits, 22 runs batted in, and eight stolen bases in 70 games with the Tennessee Smokies.
When he makes his MLB debut, Hoerner will be the first player from the 2018 draft to reach that level.