Hoerner speeds up for first Double-A dinger

Cubs No. 2 prospect races around the bases for third pro homer

After going No. 24 overall in the Draft, Nico Hoerner went yard for two different clubs within a nine-day span last July. (Tennessee Smokies)

By Shlomo Sprung / MiLB.com | April 23, 2019 12:17 AM

Nico Hoerner's first Double-A home run was far from conventional.

MLB.com's 95th-ranked prospect roped a line drive to the left-field corner and rounded the bases for an inside-the-parker in the first inning of Tennessee's 4-2 loss to Chattanooga in Monday's doubleheader nightcap.

Video: Hoerner races around the bases for first Double-A homer

After Roberto Caro flied out to lead off the bottom of the first inning, Hoerner pulled a 2-1 fastball from right-hander Johendi Jiminian down the line. With the Lookouts outfield shifted toward center, it was a long run for left fielder Taylor Trammell. By the time Cincinnati's second-ranked prospect got the ball into the infield, Hoerner was rounding third and headed for home. He dove across the plate well ahead of the throw.

The 21-year-old shortstop went 1-for-3 to raise his average to .304 in 16 Southern League games. Hoerner's also posted a .385 on-base percentage and a .500 slugging percentage. 

Gameday box score

The 24th overall pick of last year's Draft hit two home runs in 14 games in his debut season, split between the Rookie-level Arizona League, Class A Short Season Eugene and the Class A South Bend. Both his 2018 dingers went over the fence.

Hoerner hit his first professional four-bagger for the Emeralds on July 7. The Cubs' No. 2 prospect reached the Midwest League on July 11 and went deep four days later. His season ended three days after that, though, when he strained a ligament in his left elbow.

2019 MiLB include

Thomas Hatch, Chicago's 17th-ranked prospect, allowed three runs on three hits and two walks while striking out five over four innings.

The Smokies won the first game of the twinbill, 7-6. No. 29 Cubs prospect Jhonny Pereda collected two RBIs and Robel Garcia belted a two-run homer in the opener. No. 10 Reds prospect Jose Siri hit a three-run shot and drove in four for the Lookouts.

Shlomo Sprung is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @sprungonsports View More