Last night, Chicago Cubs top prospect Jordan Wicks continued his torrid pace for the Tennessee Smokies, recording five innings on no hits, one run (unearned), one walk, and four punchouts. After a blistering pace in April which saw him notch a 2.76 ERA, Wicks has put the pedal to the metal so far in May, with ten total innings and only two earned runs allowed, good for a 1.80 ERA in the month, and now down to a 2.39 ERA total on the season over his six starts and 26.1 IP.
This is more than just a smaller sample of better production from Wicks, too. Stretching back to the beginning of August 2022, Wicks has a 2.47 ERA over 47.1 frames, which proves that his hot start to the season isn’t anything that has been too unnormal for him lately. At still just 23 years old, his ceiling is only getting higher.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) May 7, 2023
Wicks’ 3.1 BB/9 and 11.3 K/9 are both solid. His 1.025 WHIP is noticeably lower than last year’s 1.250 through this part of the season, and the eye test shows you how confident he looks on the mound right now. The call-up to Triple-A Iowa seems inevitable, like Ben Brown before him. You can’t expect the front office to keep guys like Wicks down in Double-A too long. They want to start churning out homegrown talent at the major league level to have financial flexibility at the major league level to become as competitive as possible.
It will be interesting to see where several Cubs’ top prospects land inside MLB Pipeline’s top 100 list once the mid-season rankings are released. With several top 100 prospects flying off the board early this season and players subsequently moving up one spot automatically, that, coupled with Wicks’ stellar play, will make it very interesting to see if he cracks the top 100. He is currently the #5 prospect in the Cubs organization, and so far, the Cubs’ top four are in the top 100.
The Cubs desperately need another dominant lefty in the pen. Though the MLB is far more advanced than Double-A, Wicks looks far more advanced than Double-A at this point as well. Look for him to get the call to Iowa before much longer, where he’ll be one fine-tuning away from showcasing his skill at the MLB level.