Well, the Chicago Cubs had the board break their way with the shocking third overall pick of Kumar Rocker to the Rangers, but the Cubs had a bigger surprise taking right-handed pitcher Cade Horton with the 7th overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft.
Horton, 20, pitched at Oklahoma and was impressive during the College World Series.
Enjoy all 🅴🅻🅴🆅🅴🅽 of Cade Horton's (@cadehorton14) strikeouts v Notre Dame in one minute.
— Taylor Maples (@t_maples) June 21, 2022
Yet, fans and some in the baseball industry were shocked by the selection of Horton. He had Tommy John surgery and hasn’t pitched many innings in college. His overall numbers do not look pretty at a glance.
This is literally the most WTF pick the Cubs could've made. He's not bad, per se, but he's not jump off the page great either.
53.2 IP, 5-2, 4.86 ERA, 15 BB, 64 K
— Cubs Insider (@realcubsinsider) July 18, 2022
The Cubs had the opportunity to draft highly ranked bats in Brooks Lee, Cam Collier, Kevin Parada or Zach Neto. Instead, for the second consecutive year the Cubs went with a college pitcher.
Wow. Cade Horton goes no. 7 to the #Cubs. He's worth every penny. Showed who he really was his last 5 starts. Up to 98 with a high-spin, power breaking ball that projects plus. Two dynamic breakers. Already over TJ. Horton could be a frontline guy. Those are rare in this class.
— Joe Doyle (@JoeDoyleMiLB) July 17, 2022
For the Cubs, you have to assume that they believe Horton’s performance near the end of his 2022 season is the pitcher he will be rather than the numbers he put up during the regular season.
Cade Horton went 3-0 with a 2.61 ERA and 49 strikeouts (6 walks) in five postseason starts this year for the Sooners.
— Tim Stebbins (@tim_stebbins) July 18, 2022
Again, Horton missed 2021 because of Tommy John surgery, so he was seeing his first action in a while to begin the 2022 season at Oklahoma.
In the College World Series, Horton posted incredible spin rates on his fastball and slider.
Having observed him very closely at the CWS… high ceiling, low floor pic.twitter.com/gzWnsX6HFx
— Ryan Wolak (@Wolak22) July 18, 2022
Horton punches Alderman out with some hard heat out off the plate. Good IVB action from the righthander. pic.twitter.com/mXYog4mnlZ
— Creighton Baseball Analytics Team (@CreightonBAT) June 26, 2022
You also have to imagine that the Cubs love Horton’s potential now that he’ll only focus on being a pitcher. Horton also played shortstop and third base at Oklahoma. Oh and he originally signed with Oklahoma as a two-sport athlete, baseball and quarterback for the Sooners’ football team.
So, Cubs fans, what do you think of Cade Horton with the 7th pick?