The 2022 draft will always be defined by the Cubs decision to use the combined bonus pools of their first two selections to bet on Cade Horton and Jackson Ferris. Similar to the way the NBA, NHL, and NFL allows teams to trade back, the Cubs took two first round quality players. So far that decision is paying off extremely well with both Horton and Ferris making exciting steps in professional ball.
Some fans were disappointed to not see Ferris make his season debut on opening day for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, but that isn’t the norm, even for a first-round caliber high school arm. Of the four lefthanded HS pitchers selected with first-round grades by North Side Bound and MLB Pipeline (Brandon Barriera, Noah Schultz, Jackson Ferris, and Robby Snelling) in 2022, only Snelling made his debut on an affiliated club to start the season. Both Barriera and Schultz are dealing with minor injuries and Ferris was slowly ramping up in Arizona. That is no longer the case.
Jackson Ferris has reportedly been promoted to Myrtle Beach.
Evaluating Ferris from 2022
Jackson Ferris was recommended by former Cubs Area Scout Tom Clark out of IMG Academy. He came armed with 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. Over the winter the Cubs prioritized building him up from a mechanical and movement perspective. From a pitch arsenal standpoint, the pitching infrastructure focused on differentiating the movement profiles of his two breaking balls ($).
What should we expect from Ferris?
According to the legendary Arizona Phil at The Cubs Reporter, Ferris is building up to around 3 innings. Expect him to continue to slowly add innings throughout the season followed by a Development List stint at some point this year to give him a breather and back off on innings. We should see the mechanical and arsenal adjustments relatively early in the process. Ferris has Top 100 overall prospect upside.
The birds are hot and it’s time to watch Jackson Ferris fly!