Jackson Ferris – Pic via MLB.com
After Jackson Ferris was announced as the Cubs second round pick, I just nodded my head and said, “Well done, Cubs. Well done.”
There is not doubt Jackson Ferris is a first round talent and the Cubs snagged him. In fact, the Cubs got two first round pitching talents on the night. With a slot value of $1,660,400, the Cubs are going to have to find about a million more dollars to ink Ferris. That should not be a problem as the Cubs overage will cover half of that.
Ferris has been well thought of for more than two years which is how long he spent at IMG Academy playing against some of the best competition in all of high school sports. He will more than likely begin his career in Mesa in the Complex League, probably getting in 10-15 innings this year and throwing no more than 30-40 pitches an outing. Next year, Myrtle Beach should be where he begins his full season career.
Greg Zumach will have a deeper dive on Ferris later, but for now, here’s some basic information, video and what others are saying about the young lefty .
Age – 18
Height – 6-foot-4
Weight – 195
Throws – Left
2nd Round Pick, #47
Committed to Ole Miss
Prospects Live – 27
Baseball America – 34
FanGraphs – 47
Here is what others say about Ferris
MLB Pipeline – When everything is in sync and online, the 6-foot-4 Ferris can show off three pitches that have the chance to all be plus pitches. His fastball typically sits in the 92-95 mph range with good riding life and he has shown the ability to command the pitch well. He throws close to a true 12-to-6 curve in the mid-70s and has excellent feel for his mid-80s changeup with good fade. Tall and projectable, the Mississippi commit could have more in the tank as he matures, and he can already hold his stuff deep into outings.
Prospects Live – Ferris has a long, yet relatively clean arm action and has plenty of projection on his frame to add strength and velocity. Primarily 93-95, Ferris has been up to 97 with a fastball that showcases huge riding life. His curveball has solid depth with big, tight spin in the mid-70’s and there is a change-up in the low-80’s that needs refinement. The fastball is the calling card here and it absolutely blows hitters away. Being a left-handed pitcher that can reach back for high-90s cheese, and given his 6-foot-5-inch frame, scouts are drooling over what the final package could look like here a few years down the road. Ferris was very good, not great in 2022, thus the slip to the back-half of the first round, but it’s hard to argue with the upside here.
FanGraphs – Ferris’ combination of velocity (up to 96 mph), fastball carry, breaking ball snap, and frame give him tremendous upside. His feel for location is so raw that he has a little more relief risk than some of the high school pitchers ranked below him in the 2022 draft class, though sometimes guys with lanky frames like this gain control of their bodies later. Ferris has a powerful lower half, bending deep into his blocking leg. He also strides open, clearing his front side to help enable an extremely vertical arm slot. The combination of the two helps Ferris’ fastball have flatter angle than is usual for a pitcher this tall, with such a high arm slot. If he can live more consistently at the top of the strike zone as he matures, Ferris’ mid-90s fastball could dominate up there. The vertical slot helps him create depth on his breaking ball, and Ferris can turn over a changeup from that slot, albeit with a little variation. There are three potential impact pitches here, a ton of physical projection, and a delivery that some scouts see as the key to the whole operation, but that others think points toward the bullpen. He is a high school pitching prospect of extreme variance.