Jaxon Wiggins – Pic via University of Arkansas Athletics

When the Cubs took Jaxon Wiggins in the second round of the 2023 MLB Draft, there were a lot of surprised looks on MLB Network, and a lot of surprised comments on Twitter. Myself, I was also surprised that he was taken that high, considering that he missed all of 2023 with a torn UCL that required Tommy John surgery back in February.

As for the talent, there’s no question about what his arm can do when healthy.

Basic Info

Age – 21
Height – 6-foot-6
Weight – 225
Throws – Right
From – Roland, OK
2nd Round Pick 2023 MLB Draft

Instant Analysis from Jim Callis

Wiggins’ History

Wiggins came to the University of Arkansas after being a two-sport star at Roland high school in Roland, Oklahoma – the other being basketball. He was a top 10 pitching prospect in the state of Oklahoma and was a Perfect Game preseason all American his senior year.

In 2020–21 at Arkansas, Wiggins appeared in 17 games, four of which he started. He did not pitch much in terms of innings as he only threw 23. Still, he struck out 28, but walked 14 and had five wild pitches. He threw about 60% of his pitches for strikes and his ERA was at 5.09 and he collected four saves.

When he came back for his second year, Wiggins was the Saturday night starter as he followed current South Bend Cub, and Friday night starter Connor Noland. Wiggins appeared in 17 games again and started 15. This time, he threw 66 innings and struck out 82, but walked 43. That’s a 2:1 strikeout to walk ratio, which is not ideal. 

But that’s not really the end of the story for Wiggins. It’s not just about the stats.

In the fall, the Wiggins dazzled scouts, as he looked to be more consistent than he had been in the spring. Unfortunately, he never made it to spring baseball to be their Friday night guy and he underwent Tommy John surgery in the winter.

His Arsenal

His fastball was given a 65 grade by MLB Pipeline and can be thrown anywhere from 95 to 98 miles an hour on a regular basis; he also has a curve, but he throws more with a slider and a change up. Because of his surgery, we are a long way from figuring out what/how he is going to throw as a pro to take pressure off the elbow.

Here’s what MLB Pipeline said about the pitches that he throws

A healthy Wiggins sported some of the best fastball velocity in college baseball, sitting at 94-97 mph and peaking at 99, though his heater can get straight and is vulnerable when he doesn’t locate it well. He can get swings and misses with a mid-80s slider that reaches 89 mph with two-plane depth, as well as a mid-80s changeup with fade and tumble. He toys with a downer upper-70s curveball as well. 

He was ranked number 103 by MLB Pipeline and 259 by Future Star Series. He was also ranked at 85 by Baseball America. So, the talent is definitely there, but he will require some fine tuning when he is healthy to control and command his pitches for strikes. Basically, he’s got a live arm.

Coming Back from TJS

Every single patient responds to Tommy John surgery differently. It’s unclear what his timeline is for now unless he tells us here in the next few days.

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