While there have been encouraging starts from major-league regulars like C Willson Contreras, INF Kris Bryant and SP Tyler Chatwood in Cactus League play, two of the most notable spring performances have come from Cubs prospects Allen Webster and Nico Hoerner.
SP Allen Webster is a non-roster invitee to the Cubs camp in Arizona. So far, he has an ERA of 1.29 in 7.0 IP over 4 games, with 8 SO and a WHIP of 0.571. With this strong performance, he may earn a spot in the Cubs bullpen, as the Cubs front office cried poor this offseason and did not sign any relief pitching help other than Xavier Cedeño and Brad Brach, whose compensation was revised downward after he had the misfortune of coming down with mono right when he was required to report for a physical.
INF Nico Hoerner was the Cubs’ top pick in the 2018 draft out of Stanford, and he appeared in 14 MiLB games in the Arizona Fall League and A ball (Eugene Emeralds and South Bend Cubs) following the draft. In Cactus League play, the shortstop has slashed .714/.800/1.571 in 7 AB with 4 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI and an OPS of 2.371. Since Hoerner lacks professional baseball experience, he’s not expected to make the Cubs’ Opening Day roster, but he could start as high as AA like recent top picks Kris Bryant (2013 draft) and Kyle Schwarber (2014 draft).
While I, like many other fans, would like to see shitbag Addison Russell replaced by Hoerner sooner than later, we should probably not get our hopes up to see this happen any earlier than 2020, when Hoerner has been projected to debut by MLB Pipeline.
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I grew up a Cubs fan in Northwest Illinois and became an avid follower of the team during the Sosa-McGwire home run chase. Now I am the #1 Cubs fan in Toronto, Canada. You can find me on Twitter @Troll_Hamels (personal) and @farnorthsider (blog).