Chicago Cubs choose Cade Horton, a right-handed pitcher from Oklahoma, with the No. 7 decide within the MLB draft


Cade Horton already possesses some background data on the Chicago Cubs.

The Cubs chosen Horton, a right-hander out of Oklahoma, with the No. 7 decide within the MLB draft. One of Horton’s first calls Sunday night time as a member of the group went to Cubs prospect Ed Howard.

Horton stored in contact with Howard after taking part in collectively in MLB’s Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) League through the summer time earlier than their junior 12 months of highschool. They nearly reunited in faculty. Howard dedicated to Oklahoma earlier than signing with the Cubs because the sixteenth decide in 2020.

Going into the draft, Horton stated the Cubs had been “definitely on the radar.” He watched the draft together with his household and highschool and faculty teammates at his house in Norman, Okla.

“It’s crazy. It doesn’t feel real,” Horton stated Sunday night time on a video convention name. “I’m just so blessed to be in this position and ready to get to work.”

When the second arrived for the Cubs to make their first-round decide, they might have opted for one of many high out there hitters. They as an alternative went with Horton.

Baseball America ranked Horton the Twenty third-best participant within the draft, whereas MLB.com ranked him twenty fourth.

Horton is the Cubs’ highest draft decide since they took Kyle Schwarber with the fourth decide in 2014. The Cubs beforehand picked at No. 7 twice: In 1974 they drafted outfielder Scot Thompson (626 major-league video games, minus-5.7 WAR, third in National League Rookie of the Year voting in 1979) and in 1976 they took right-hander Herman Segelke (three video games, minus-0.1 WAR).

Horton may very well be an underslot decide — No. 7 is valued at $5,708,000 — through which the Cubs get monetary savings to make use of on different gamers.

Vice president of scouting Dan Kantrovitz referred to as the Cubs’ bonus pool determine “exciting.”

“That’s something that gives us some ammunition to go out there and hopefully get some of the better players,” Kantrovitz stated.

The Cubs have the Tenth-highest bonus pool ($10,092,700) for use on the highest 10 rounds.

“Now we have to try to figure out how we’re going to optimize our entire draft,” Kantrovitz stated final week. “That plays into the calculus of each pick. Who we’re going to pick, how much we’re going to pay them. And at the end of the day, we want to have the best draft we can based on, hopefully, having signed 20 players. But that has to be in the context of the overall pool.”

The Cubs drafted left-hander Jackson Ferris from IMG Academy in Florida with their second-round decide (No. 47).

The emergence of a slider towards the tip of the 2022 season grew to become a recreation changer for Horton. He first showcased it through the Big 12 Tournament and noticed his utilization generate extra whiffs and strikeouts.

Horton, who turns 21 subsequent month, had Tommy John surgical procedure in 2021 earlier than his freshman season at Oklahoma. As a redshirt freshman this 12 months, he posted a 4.86 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 64 strikeouts and 15 walks in 53⅔ innings over 14 video games (11 begins).

“Adversity makes us who we are, and I think the biggest thing I learned is how to be a good teammate,” Horton stated of going via the surgical procedure. “I’ve always been the guy that has never really sat on the bench. I’ve always been out there playing, and that injury forced me to sit on the bench and so I had to learn how to keep the other guys going when things weren’t going so well.”

The Sooners made the finals of this 12 months’s College World Series in Omaha, Neb. Horton impressed in Game 2 in opposition to eventual champion Ole Miss, permitting two runs and 4 hits in 7⅓ innings with no walks and 13 strikeouts in a 4-2 loss.

“It’s awesome to be able to be on that stage,” Horton stated. “You talk about adrenaline and I wanted to calm myself down more than anything just so I could focus on taking it one pitch at a time and just hitting a target and focusing on what I wanted to do on that certain pitch.”

Horton additionally appeared in 50 video games for Oklahoma as a hitter, together with 25 begins at third base, 4 at shortstop and 11 because the designated hitter. He believes his expertise taking part in the infield helps him maintain runners on base and perceive how onerous it’s to hit.

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