Cubs fans worried that the team wasn’t going to sign second round selection, Jackson Ferris, can sleep easy as the team reportedly signed the lefthander Ferris alongside talented righthanded pitcher, JP Wheat. These two signings bring the total to 19 signed out of the class. According to Cubs VP of Scouting Dan Kantrovitz in an interview with Chicago media shortly after the draft, he indicated that the team expected to sign 18-19 of the 20 players that they drafted. The remaining player, Brock Blatter, was viewed to have a strong commitment to University of Alabama. Nothing is confirmed from the team, but it’s unlikely Blatter will sign prior to the Monday deadline.
Jackson Ferris, LHP, IMG Academy (FL)
The Cubs selection at pick 47 should be linked with their selection at 7, Cade Horton. The two selections represented the team’s willingness to target high-upside pitching. By underslotting Horton at 7, the first-round caliber Jackson Ferris became a real possibility. Ferris throws four pitches led by a lively 93-95 mph fastball that tops out at 97. In particular interest to those metrically inclined, the fastball comes in at a flat angle (low vertical approach angle) making it more of a challenge to hitters at the top of the zone. He has a pair of high spin breaking balls, though the curveball is presently ahead of the slider. Unlike many prep pitchers, he displays a good feel for a changeup. Expect the Cubs Pitching Development and Performance Science departments to devote significant time and energy with Ferris to take him to the next step. Jim Callis reported his signing.
Jackson Ferris was recommended by Cubs Area Scout Tom Clark
Pre-Draft Rankings for Jackson Ferris
North Side Bound – 23
Prospects Live – 27
Baseball America – 34
FanGraphs – 47
JP Wheat, RHP, Next Level Academy (AL)
Speaking of the Pitching Development and Performance Science departments, today’s signing of Jon Paul (JP) Wheat will be a prime opportunity to show what the organization can do. Wheat stands 6’5″ and is very projectable, which suggests he should add muscle and strength as he grows into his frame. The present “stuff” now really pops with a low to mid 90s fastball and high spin breaking ball. The Georgia Tech commit has only been pitching a little over a year so it’s not hard to see the intrigue as he gets on a professional mound. JP Wheat posted his signing to Instagram.
JP Wheat was by Cubs Area Scouting Supervisor, Alex McClure
Is that a wrap?
These signings likely conclude 2022 Chicago Cubs draft class, though we’ll have to wait for Monday’s deadline to have the final answer. It’s a group that’s built on power (arms and bats) and upside. Make sure you check out North Side Bound for the latest in all the MLB Draft breakdown, especially now that all these players are officially members of the organization.