“The Cubs need pitching” is starting to sound like a broken record at this point. The only way to fix the sound though is to address the problem and the Cubs are at least giving the impression that they are trying to. With the 7th overall pick in the MLB Draft on Sunday night, the Cubs added the right-hander Cade Horton from Oklahoma to their repair plans. In the second round, they added Jackson Ferris, a left-handed pitcher from the IMG Academy.
Who is Cade Horton?
The 20-year-old out of Norman High School in Oklahoma was the #2 ranked player in Oklahoma by Perfect Game as he entered the 2021 season. He didn’t play the 2021 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery but since that procedure has become more routine it is less cause for concern than it would have been 20 years ago.
You may be a little underwhelmed if you just look at the stats. A 4.86 ERA certainly isn’t anything to be super excited about, but there is a lot more behind the numbers. Coming back from Tommy John surgery took a little time, but we got to see Cade succeed when it mattered most, in the postseason.
College World Series Success
The Super Regional elimination game saw Horton pitch 6 innings, allowing only 2 hits and 2 earned runs against the host Virginia Tech Hokies. Cade struck out 8 and only walked two on the way to an 11-2 win. This win advanced Oklahoma to the College World Series. Cade had another great performance in his next start. He pitched 6 innings with 11 strikeouts and allowed 2 runs in a 6-2 win over Notre Dame.
In the College World Series final, Cade also pitched great in the elimination game against Mississippi. He added 13 strikeouts in 7.1 innings pitched, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits. Unfortunately, this was not enough to get Oklahoma to a game 3 as the Rebels took home the championship.
Cade turns 21 in August and will have time to continue his comeback from Tommy John as he works up the minor league ranks. A fastball and a powerful breaking ball were good enough to strike out 13 batters on the National Championship team. That success in Omaha should get Cubs fans excited for the future.
Jackson Ferris is a 6’4 left-handed pitcher from the IMG Academy in Florida. The 18-year-old is committed to Mississippi and entered the draft as the 19th ranked prospect according to mlb.com. His pitch arsenal consists of a fastball, a 12-6 curveball, and a change-up.
The Cubs were able to take Jackson at 47th in the draft. With him being ranked as a late first round pick, this could be a steal for Chicago. The fastball is 92-95mph and pairs with a curveball around 78-80mph. Jackson said he hopes to model his game after Clayton Kershaw and you can see that in his looping curveball.
Cade Horton was the 24th ranked prospect entering tonight and both him and Jackson have time to develop their ability being only 20 and 18 respectively. The Cubs’ farm system has done well developing arms like Justin Steele, Keegan Thompson, Scott Effross, and others. In a draft that was deemed “weak” at the Pitcher position, the Cubs did a solid job getting young and strong arms from each side of the rubber.