The Cubs promoted a number of minor-league players over the course of the last few days.
The Chicago Cubs’ front office has been busy. Not only was Miguel Amaya promoted to the majors, but the front office also shuffled around a handful of other prospects. Earlier in the week, rumors of Ben Brown’s ascension to Triple-A were first reported. In addition, Jackson Ferris is moving up to Myrtle Beach, Haydn McGeary is heading to Double-A, and Bailey Horn is heading to Iowa with Brown.
Brown was acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies at the 2022 MLB Trade Deadline for RHP David Robertson. Robertson has since departed and signed with NL East rival of the Phillies, the New York Mets. However, the Cubs found themselves a projected starter of the future with Brown, who is currently their No. 7 overall prospect.
In just four starts at Double-A Tennessee, Brown was sensational. He pitched to a 2-0 record and 0.45 ERA over 20.0 innings of work. Brown also struck out 30 batters while only allowing six free passes.
The former 33rd-round selection is huge, standing 6-foot-6 with a deadly heater. His fastball sits in the mid-to-upper 90s and he compliments that with a curveball and slider/cutter hybrid. Brown’s quick ascension through the Cubs’ system will surely have fans on watch from here on out.
Brown immediately reported to Double-A following the trade last season, making seven starts with the Smokies. Although he was still solid, 2023 has been a coming out party for the future starter.
Ferris was selected by the Cubs in the second-round of the 2022 MLB Draft. With his promotion to Low-A Myrtle Beach, he’ll join fellow 2022 class member Cade Horton in the rotation for the Pelicans.
Ferris is currently rated the No. 8 prospect in the Cubs’ system, just behind Brown. The 6-foot-4 lefty was signed above slot value by the Cubs out of high school. He will bypass rookie ball and head straight to Myrtle Beach. Surely the Cubs really like what they see with Ferris, explaining why they were happy to sign him above his slot value coming out of the draft.
There is not much indication on when Ferris will make his first appearance, but when it happens, fans will be on high alert.
Another 2022 draft selection, Haydn McGeary earned a promotion to Double-A after coming out the gates red hot in High-A South Bend. After spending portions of last season in rookie ball and Low-A Myrtle Beach, the D2 catcher has lit the minor leagues on fire. He can hit, slashing .368/.467/.592 with three homers, eight doubles, and 13 RBI over 20 games with South Bend.
McGeary was chosen in the 15th round out of D2 Colorado Mesa. One thing was certain then, and continues to be certain now, is his hit tool. Despite having the college experience in his back pocket, ascending to Double-A in less than a full calendar year is impressive for any player.
McGeary will likely share time with the likes of Miguel Amaya behind the plate once he returns to Double-A Tennessee (assuming he does) following his stint in the majors. The two will combine to be a sensational hitting duo at the catching position.
Horn was acquired by the Cubs at the 2021 MLB Trade Deadline after moving RHP Ryan Tepera to the crosstown Chicago White Sox. The one-for-one trade brought Horn to the Cubs’ system with ability to serve as both a starter and reliever. Following his 2021 stint in High-A ball, he has exclusively served as a reliever in the minors.
After splitting time between High-A and Double-A in 2022, Horn began 2023 with the Smokies. In just 9.0 innings over six games, Horn pitched to a 2.00 ERA with 19 strikeouts and just five walks. Although a small sample size, the Cubs clearly believe he is ready for the next step. He joins a loaded crop of Triple-A relievers who we’ll likely see over the course of the major league season.
What’s On Tap Next?
Although there will be plenty of spotlight on these players following their promotions, the natural question is when will we see them in the majors? Although Ferris and McGeary are much further away, Brown and Horn have an opportunity to make their debuts in 2023. Although it will likely come down to health of the big-league level, never say never on these two arms getting a cup of coffee with the Cubs at some point.