Chicago Cubs pitching prospect Jordan Wicks breaking out in Double-A
After another dominant start for Chicago Cubs' top pitching prospect, Jordan Wicks, It's safe to say he is starting to break out at Double-A Tennessee. Last night, Wicks fired five scoreless frames against the Birmingham Barons, including seven punchouts in 77 pitches. Wicks' total on the season now sits at a fantastic 2.76 ERA in which he's recorded 24 strikeouts in 16.1 IP.
Wicks looks to be getting to that "probably too good for Double-A but has to prove it just a little longer" point in his Tennessee tenure. As the number two pitching prospect in the Cubs organization, the ceiling has been high for Wicks since day one when he was drafted 21st overall in the first round of the 2021 MLB draft. He didn't always blow hitters away right out of the gate, but adjustments and better command this season have catalyzed his improvement.
Last year, Wicks posted a 3.80 ERA between High-A and Double-A in 94.2 frames with 121 Ks. With an 11.5 K/9 and only 28 walks allowed, the damage came from the number of hits allowed, with a total of 90 in those 94.2 innings. This season, he has given up 12 hits in his 16.1 frames but has managed to limit the damage thus far. Missing more bats will be vital to keeping his 1.102 WHIP down to a respectable level.
He has already been ranked among the best lefties in baseball this year, and we've already mentioned how experts at Marquee Sports Network think he may even be up to the Cubs. Wicks' potential is sky-high, and it should be a short time before he finds himself in Triple-A Iowa, just one stop away from the MLB. Being up to a 13.2 K/9 this season might be unsustainable. Still, if he keeps up anywhere near it and continues to limit to free passes via the walk, the Cubs front office will have no choice but to let him face stiffer competition to adjust further.