Chicago Cubs pitching prospect Cade Horton may already be pitching himself out of Class-A Myrtle Beach. After striking out five in his first start of the season last week with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Horton made his second start of the season on Wednesday night and was nearly flawless.
Horton began the season as the Cubs’ No.4 prospect in the rankings provided by MLB Pipeline but it wouldn’t be a shock if he jumps even closer to the top of the list by the time the season concludes. Horton was a surprise selection by the Cubs in last June’s MLB Draft as they took him 7th overall but the Cubs were confident that his devastating slider that was on display during the College World Series would translate well to Major League Baseball. The early returns prove the Cubs right as his slider has been untouchable.
No. 4 @Cubs prospect Cade Horton was unhittable for @Pelicanbaseball:
7 K pic.twitter.com/ZjqdeFPZnA
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) April 20, 2023
It was hard not to think of Horton when the Oakland Athletics promoted prospect Mason Miller on Wednesday to make his Major League debut against the Cubs. Miller only had a total of 28.2 innings pitched in the Athletics’ minor league system before getting the promotion to the Major League level on Wednesday. Granted, a shoulder strain limited Miller to only 14 innings pitched during the 2022 season, but the Athletics’ top pitching prospect dominated at every level.
Now, it seems very unlikely that the Cubs are going to be willing to promote Horton to the Major League level after only 28 innings pitched but there is no question that the Cubs’ top pitching prospect could fly through the ranks of the team’s farm system. 2025 has been believed to be the ETA for Horton but with the early success that he has had this season, 2024 should not be out of the question.