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Cream of the crop opening 2020 in the Majors

Best Minors has to offer ready to take their shots in the bigs
July 23, 2020

The kids are all grown up. Some of the best and brightest prospects baseball has to offer have found their way onto Major League rosters for the opening of the 2020 season. In a sport in which players are conditioned to pace themselves for a six-month marathon, the 60-game schedule

Prospects in the Cubs' 2020 player pool

Batterymates Marquez, Amaya open camp in South Bend
July 2, 2020

As part of the new rules for the 2020 Major League season, each of the 30 organizations will maintain a 60-man player pool for the duration of the campaign. Some members of the player pool will feature on the active Major League roster while others will work out at an

Toolshed dream lineup: The 23-year-olds

Jays' Pearson, Giants' Bart among those closing in on Majors
April 21, 2020

There may be no Minor League Baseball games yet, but that's not going to stop us from dreaming about lineups.In the coming weeks, Toolshed will craft the best possible prospect lineups, sorted by age. So far, the series has focused on teenagers, 20-year-olds, 21-year-olds and 22-year-olds. This time, we turn our attention to

Hoerner has breakout day for Cubs

No. 51 overall prospect doubles in three-hit performance
March 3, 2020

Nico Hoerner may have helped change the narrative regarding his case for the Opening Day second-base job in Chicago.The top Cubs prospect went 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored in Tuesday's 11-10 loss to the Rockies in Scottsdale, Arizona. Hoerner, who had two hits in his first six

Farm system rankings: Position players, 20-11

D-backs, Orioles rising up; Pirates, Cardinals continue to excite
February 11, 2020

With the 2020 season rapidly approaching, is looking at the state of all 30 farm systems over the next month and ranking them in several different ways. The first installment, broken into three parts, focuses on position players and considers the quality and quantity of top talent in each

Prospect Projections: NL Central rookies

Cards should give Carlson long look; Keller ready for Bucs role
January 28, 2020

This is the fourth in a six-part Toolshed series that uses FanGraphs' Steamer600 projections to look at how prospects would fare over a full Major League season in 2020. The system bases its forecast on 600 plate appearances for position players, 450 plate appearances for catchers, 200 innings for starting

Davis, Marquez climbing toward Wrigley

Prospect projects stand out as Chicago retools farm system
October 20, 2019

Each offseason, goes position by position across each system and honors the players -- regardless of age or prospect status -- who had the best seasons in their organization. Click here to locate your favorite club.The year couldn't have ended much better for the Cubs' farm system. The organization's top

Cubs bringing up Hoerner from Smokies

Top prospect strengthens Chicago's injury-laden middle infield
September 9, 2019

Nico Hoerner was scheduled to go to the Arizona Fall League this month. Turns out, he'll be charting a different course.The Cubs are calling up their top prospect to make his Major League debut. Hoerner will have to be added to the 40-man roster, but that will be the only

Adell, Lewis headline Fall League rosters

Twenty Top-100 prospects headed to Arizona for showcase
August 28, 2019

The Arizona Fall League is going to be a little different in 2019, but the talent level will be as high as ever.Angels outfielder Jo Adell (No. 4) and Twins shortstop Royce Lewis (No. 7) headline the list of 20 Top-100 prospects named to the Arizona Fall League rosters released

Prospect Roundup: Games of August 27

Jays' Kay puts up six zeros; Cubs' Hoerner collects three hits
August 28, 2019

Blue Jays LHP Anthony Kay, Triple-A Buffalo: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 5 K -- The fifth-ranked Toronto prospect twirled his second straight scoreless start, anchoring the Bisons' 5-3 win over Rochester. Kay retired the first six batters, benefited from a pair of double plays and only allowed two

Smokies Late Push Falls Short In 5-3 Loss To Jacksonville

Rubber-Match Set For Saturday
August 17, 2019

KODAK - The Tennessee Smokies (51-72, 18-35) could not survive a early offensive downpour from the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (60-63, 31-22) in a 5-3 loss on Friday night at Smokies StadiumThe Jumbo Shrimp wasted little time to jump on Smokies starter RHP Erich Uelmen (L, 0-2). Brian Miller struck the

Southern notes: Hoerner handles pressure

Top Cubs prospect looking to finish season strong with Smokies
August 8, 2019

Nico Hoerner may be the No. 1 prospect in the Cubs organization, but the shortstop out of Stanford doesn't put too much thought into being in the spotlight as he rolls through his first season of Double-A baseball with the Tennessee Smokies.

Streak Snapped! Smokies Open Road Trip with 4-1 Win in Chattanooga

Hoerner and Amaya's First Inning Home Runs Hold Up
July 27, 2019

CHATTANOOGA, TN - The Tennessee Smokies (44-61, 11-25) snapped their season long eight-game losing streak with a 4-1 win over the Chattanooga Lookouts (46-58, 10-26) at AT&T Field on Saturday night.The Smokies wasted little time on their road venture as the offense jump-started the night. Nico Hoerner, the second batter

Prospect Roundup: Games of July 5

Cubs' Hoerner homers; Red Sox's Duran collects four hits
July 6, 2019

Cubs SS Nico Hoerner, Double-A Tennessee: 2-for-5, 3 RBIs, HR, 3B -- In his second game back off the injured list, the top Cubs prospect delivered a solid performance at the plate. With Roberto Caro on base in the third, Hoerner blasted a two-run shot for his second Southern League homer and

Hoerner Homers and Triples in Second Game Back from Injury

Smokies Fall in Ten Innings, 6-5
July 5, 2019

Montgomery, AL - The Tennessee Smokies (39-46, 6-10) and Montgomery Biscuits (5333, 9-7) needed ten innings to determine a winner on Friday night, as Montgomery grabbed a 6-5 win. Chicago Cubs #1 Prospect Nico Hoerner belted a two-run home run and a triple in just his second game back since

Smokies Hold Montgomery to Three Hits in Losing Effort

Nico Hoerner Singles in Return to Action
July 4, 2019

Montgomery, AL - The Tennessee Smokies (39-45, 6-9) fell to the Montgomery Biscuits (52-33, 8-7) 3-0 at Riverwalk Stadium on Thursday night. Chicago Cubs No. 1 prospect Nico Hoerner, who returned to the lineup after missing over two months due to a hairline fracture in his wrist, singled in his

Cubs' Hoerner out at least a month

CT scan reveals fracture in wrist of club's top prospect
May 20, 2019

Nico Hoerner's return to the Minor Leagues has been put on hold.CT scans revealed the top Cubs prospect suffered a hairline fracture in his left wrist, Chicago's president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said Monday. Hoerner -- out since getting hit by a pitch on April 23 -- had begun

Cubs' Hoerner lands on seven-day IL

No. 95 overall prospect dealing with bruised wrist
April 27, 2019

A solid start to Nico Hoerner's first full season in the Minor Leagues has hit its first speed bump.The Cubs' second-ranked prospect was placed on the seven-day injured list Saturday, retroactive to Wednesday. Hoerner exited Double-A Tennessee's game against Chattanooga on Tuesday following his second at-bat, when a 2-2 offering

Smokies, Lookouts Split Twin Bill

Smokies Walk-Off in Game One, Fall 4-2 in Night Cap
April 22, 2019

KODAK, TN - The Tennessee Smokies (9-7) and Chattanooga Lookouts (6-10) split their doubleheader Monday at Smokies Stadium Monday night. Charcer Burks hit a walk-off single with two-outs in the seventh to give the Smokies a 7-6 win. Major League Rehabber LHP Mike Montgomery allowed three runs on three hits

Smokies, Lookouts Split Twin Bill

Smokies Walk-Off in Game One, Fall 4-2 in Night Cap
April 22, 2019

KODAK, TN - The Tennessee Smokies (9-7) and Chattanooga Lookouts (6-10) split their doubleheader Monday at Smokies Stadium Monday night. Charcer Burks hit a walk-off single with two-outs in the seventh to give the Smokies a 7-6 win. Major League Rehabber LHP Mike Montgomery allowed three runs on three hits

Hoerner speeds up for first Double-A dinger

Cubs No. 2 prospect races around the bases for third pro homer
April 22, 2019

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

Worth The Wait; Smokies Bats Heat Up After Delay

Five Smokies Pitchers Combine to One-Hit Lookouts
April 20, 2019

KODAK, TN - The Tennessee Smokies (8-6) defeated the Chattanooga Lookouts (5-9) 6-2 Saturday night in Game One of a scheduled doubleheader. After the top of the third, the game went into a one hour and twenty-three minute delay, and in the top of the fourth, the Smokies broke a

Down 6-0, Smokies Rally Back to Take Rubber Match, 7-6

Pereda and Myers Go Back-to-Back During Six-Run Fifth
April 14, 2019

BIRMINGHAM, AL - The Tennessee Smokies (6-3) stormed back from an early 6-0 deficit to take down the Birmingham Barons (4-6) 7-6 and win the rubber match in Birmingham on Sunday night.Birmingham jumped out to a commanding 4-0 lead in the first inning. Luis González got the Barons on the

Another Three-Run Eighth Helps Smokies Clinch Opening Series

Nico Hoerner Drives in Winning Run the Second Day in a Row
April 7, 2019

SEVIERVILLE - The Tennessee Smokies (3-1) used a three-run bottom of the eighth inning Sunday afternoon to come from behind and defeat the Mississippi Braves (1-3) at Smokies Stadium. Tennessee sent nine men to the plate in the eighth, and pinch-hitter Nico Hoerner walked with the bases loaded to force

Hoerner Comes Through in the Eighth to Seal Smokies' 4-3 Win

Thompson Fans Eight Without Allowing a Hit in Season Debut
April 6, 2019

SEVIERVILLE - Nico Hoerner's RBI-single in the bottom of the eighth inning was the difference in a 4-3 victory for the Tennessee Smokies (2-1) against the Mississippi Braves (1-2) on Saturday night. RHP Keegan Thompson tossed five hitless innings while striking out eight in his 2019 debut.The Smokies jumped to