The Chicago Cubs' fifth-ranked prospect (MLB Pipeline) is heading to Triple-A Iowa. Jordan Wicks, who was drafted in the first round (21st overall) will pitch with the Iowa Cubs after pitching in 58.1 innings with the Double-A Tennessee Smokies.
Wicks, 23, pitched to a 3.39 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 4.15 FIP, 3.78 xFIP, 10.6 K/9, 2.9 BB/9 and 7.6 H/9 in Tennessee. The lefty was drawing comps to former Cubs Jon Lester and Cole Hamels when he was first drafted by the Cubs. His changeup is his best pitch (60/60 on FanGraphs Prospects Report) followed by his slider (50/50 on FanGraphs). He also throws a low/mid-90s fastball and curveball.
He might not be a flamethrower like some of the other prospect arms, but he brings some really nice skill sets. Referencing that changeup again, it was considered the best changeup in the 2021 draft by MLB Pipeline's scouting report. He has made hitters look like absolute fools with that pitch in his professional career so far. Wicks has also boasted good command of his pitches. One of the questions will be if he can generate enough chase on balls out of the zone that are meant to get the hitters to chase. The slider has been more successful than the curveball in terms of his effectiveness with breaking balls. MLB Pipeline notes that the Cubs helped him add more sweep to his slider.
This is a big next step for the Cubs' top lefty pitching prospect. Facing Triple-A hitting for the first time will be interesting to see how he adjusts to the next level. There is a lot of promise in him, and the hope for him to be a durable, command lefty pitcher in the middle of the Cubs rotation sooner than later.