Cubs name Cade Horton and Moises Ballasteros minor league pitcher and player of the year

The Cubs honored their top minor league pitcher and position player in their end-of-year awards.
Cade Horton makes the first pitch of the South Bend Cubs vs. Fort Wayne TinCaps game at Four Winds
Cade Horton makes the first pitch of the South Bend Cubs vs. Fort Wayne TinCaps game at Four Winds / MATTIE NERETIN / USA TODAY NETWORK

According to the Chicago Tribune's Meghan Montemurro, the Chicago Cubs have named catcher Moises Ballesteros and right-handed pitcher Cade Horton as the organization's minor league player and pitcher of the year, respectively.

Horton was the team's first round draft pick (7th overall) in the 2022 draft. Standing at 6'1 211 pounds, Horton sports a deadly fastball-slider combination that generates a lot of strikeouts for the 22-year-old. After just one year in the minor leagues, it's clear that Horton is barreling toward Chicago for a big league debut that could come as soon as 2024.

Across three levels in 2023, Horton threw 88.1 innings with a 2.65 ERA and 117 strikeouts. He made his way to Double-A Tennessee by August where he will likely start next season before an eventual bump up to Triple-A. Horton is currently ranked the Cubs' no. 2 prospect and the 29th best in baseball according to MLB Pipeline.

Cubs may have their catcher of the future in Moises Ballasteros

On the position player side, Ballasteros probably had the biggest breakout of any Cubs prospect. The Venezuelan native signed with the team as an international free agent in January 2021. The 19-year-old only stands at 5'7, but his stocky frame gives Ballasteros a lot of power which began translating on the field.

In 117 games split between Myrtle Beach, South Bend and Tennessee, Ballasteros smacked 14 home runs and 27 doubles with 64 runs batted in. His slash line of .285/.374/.449 was impressive, demonstrating a good balance of contact, power and on-base ability.

Ballasteros has work to do on defense but at just 19 years of age, Ballasteros has time to refine his skills - especially with Miguel Amaya's return to prominence at the big league level this summer.