SAN DIEGO – On September 2nd, he played his final game of the season for the Tennessee Smokies in Mobile. After that, the shortstop was headed to the Arizona Fall League as his next baseball stop in 2019.
But fate and some injuries at the big league level changed the destination for Nico Hoerner, the Cubs’ 2018 first-round draft pick. His debut in the major leagues was about to get moved up- and did he take advantage of the opportunity.
Activated on Monday then placed in the starting lineup with both Javier Baez and Addison Russell out with injuries, Hoerner shined against the Padres at Petco Park. He delivered a three-hit, four-RBI performance while also scoring a pair of runs in a 10-2 Cubs’ victory that snaps a three-game losing streak.
Horner’s night started off right as he picked up his first major league hit in the second inning. A fielder’s choice got him on base in the fourth as well and he took advantage of a wild pitch by Cal Quantrill to score his first major league run.
He slid head-first across the plate to make it 3-0, but his night was far from finished.
In the fifth inning he busted the game open by hitting a two-run triple into the corner in left field to give the Cubs a 5-2 lead. The Cubs would get five in the inning to make it a six-run game, and Hoerner completed his evening production with an RBI single to center to make it 10-2.
Really nervous for his MLB debut. pic.twitter.com/Qp9bxcu2sZ
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 10, 2019
It all made for a memorable night for the rookie, who was serenaded with chants of “Nico, Nico” from the Cubs’ faithful in the Petco Park crowd.
— KC (@StayingBullish) September 10, 2019
He became the second Cub in franchise history with three hits and four RBI in his major league debut, joining Dee Fondy, who did so on April 17, 1951. Hoerner became the fourth Cub to have four-or-more RBI in their major league debut as he became the first member of the MLB Draft Class of 2018 to make his MLB debut.
Hoerner also made some great plays at shortstop as well to complete his incredible major league debut. It was one that was unexpected, but in the end, it was a call-up that was certainly warranted for the prospect.