Cardinals’ Tommy Edman knew Nico Hoerner could lead off — from personal experience

Hoerner replaced Edman at shortstop after his freshman season at Stanford. Hoerner entered Sunday with a 89.5% contact rate and an 11% strikeout rate, according to Fangraphs.

SHARE Cardinals’ Tommy Edman knew Nico Hoerner could lead off — from personal experience
Nico Hoerner doubles in the seventh inning Friday against the Marlins at Wrigley Field.

Nico Hoerner doubles in the seventh inning Friday against the Marlins at Wrigley Field.

Erin Hooley/AP

Someone not surprised by Nico Hoerner’s impressive transition to the Cubs’ leadoff spot is Cardinals infielder Tommy Edman, whom Hoerner replaced at shortstop after his freshman season at Stanford.

‘‘You could see his freshman year he definitely had a couple of things he would tell you he needed to improve on, and he did so the next couple of years,’’ Edman said late last month in San Francisco. ‘‘A big part that’s very similar to me, honestly, is that we both have contact mindsets and see pitches we know we can hit. So we [spoil pitches] weakly to the right and wait for a better pitch we can drive.

‘‘Especially in his sophomore and junior year, he got more confidence in his ability. I think he started to be more patient.’’

Hoerner entered play Sunday with a 89.5% contact rate and an 11% strikeout rate, according to Fangraphs. He also has a .354 on-base percentage after the Cubs’ 5-4 loss to the Marlins in 14 innings.

‘‘One thing that was super-evident really early was how hard he was going to work, and he always had a great mindset,’’ Edman said. ‘‘He had full confidence in his abilities without being too cocky or anything like that. He was ready for any challenge.’’

Hoerner was just as impressed with Edman’s ability to carry a heavy workload at Stanford into a successful career after signing with the Cardinals following the 2016 season. Edman reached the majors three months before Hoerner in 2019 but already had earned a degree in mathematical and computational science.

‘‘He’s one of the only guys I know who can play baseball, take the hard classes and be a normal, social guy,’’ Hoerner said. ‘‘He’s an impressive all-around person. The success he’s had has been awesome to follow. He’s so consistent, does everything well on a field. He’s a great player for any team to have.’’

Gomes closer to returning

Catcher Yan Gomes (concussion) might be activated Tuesday after taking batting practice Sunday, one day after catching rehabbing right-hander Kyle Hendricks’ bullpen session.

Hendricks (strained right shoulder) will make rehab starts for Triple-A Iowa on Tuesday and Sunday. Reliever Codi Heuer (Tommy John surgery) also will pitch Tuesday for Iowa.

Left-hander Brandon Hughes (right knee) threw a bullpen session without discomfort. Right-hander Adrian Sampson had a clean-up surgery on his right knee Friday.

This and that

The 14-inning loss Sunday was the Cubs’ longest game, in terms of innings, since May 11, 2019, when they beat the Brewers 2-1 in 15 innings.

• Left-hander Ryan Borucki opted for free agency.

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