Ranking the best Chicago Cubs pitching prospects halfway through the season

The Chicago Cubs have some great pitching prospects and Ben Brown headlines the list of the best at each level midway through the season.

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Cubs High-A Pitcher of the First Half: RHP Cade Horton (21 Years Old)

9 G, 39.1 IP, 3.89 ERA, 57 K, 1.09 WHIP, .214 BAA

The Cubs selected the helium prospect in last year’s MLB draft by selecting Horton, a pitcher from Oklahoma that had been pretty mediocre for much of the season before going into the College Baseball World Series and proceeding to dominate just about every hitter in the tournament.

He hasn’t missed a beat since joining the organization. He began the season in Myrtle Beach where the competition level simply wasn’t high enough. He allowed two earned runs across 14.1 innings and struck out 21. He needed a new challenge so he was promoted to South Bend.

The numbers weren’t as impressive in South Bend for the month of May as he adjusted to the new level. He had an ERA of 6.14 across four starts and while the strikeouts were still there (24) he saw his BAA balloon to .263 from the .086 it was with the Pelicans.

That being said, he found his footing in June and had one of the best months for a pitcher anywhere in the league as he worked to a 0.92 ERA across 19.2 innings with 29 strikeouts and a .136 BAA.

Horton has already had one promotion this season but I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibilities for him to end the season in AA with Tennessee. If that happens and he has another quick start to the season next year like he did this year then we could see him as a bullpen piece in a playoff run next season or a legitimate option for the rotation at the beginning of the 2025 season.