Jordan Wicks Ranked Among the Best Lefty Pitching Prospects in Baseball

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Jordan Wicks Ranked Among the Best Lefty Pitching Prospects in Baseball

Chicago Cubs

I remember a time when it would be *IMPOSSIBLE* to semi-forget about a very recent Chicago Cubs first round draft pick. That player, by mere virtue of his selection and the lack of depth in the system behind him, would always be top of mind. That’s just how it worked.

Nowadays, I will concede that there are quality Cubs prospects who kinda slip off my radar for a few weeks. There are just too many of them to have top-of-mind all the time, and that could even include a 2021 first round draft pick who pitched his way up to Double-A in his first full professional season.

That isn’t to say I forgot who Jordan Wicks was or how good he can be. It’s just that in the constant flow of “I am excited about this Cubs prospect and THIS Cubs prospect and THISSSS Cubs prospect,” I had kinda forgotten just how highly-regarded Wicks is and should be.

Bringing me back to it, today? Wicks was named by MLB Pipeline as the 6th best lefty pitching prospect in all of baseball:

Wicks, who ranks one spot ahead of oft-discussed Cardinals lefty Matthew Liberatore, also gets nods in the “best control” and “best changeup” superlative categories.

The 23-year-old lefty probably doesn’t get enough love from some corners because his results in 2022 (3.80 ERA over 94.2 innings split between High-A and Double-A) didn’t overwhelm the eye. But when you consider that he was developing out multiple new, and/or new versions of, pitches in his first full professional year? And then you consider that he posted a 30.1% strikeout rate against a 7.0% walk rate? That’s when I start to eye the .338 BABIP a little suspiciously, and I wonder just how well those results reflect his performance in 2022. And if you ask folks who watched his starts, they’ll tell you that Wicks was routinely the victim of really bad luck and, sometimes, bad defense.

Wicks is going to be a top ten prospect for the Cubs entering this season, and he is also – based on this list – going to be right there on the fringes of top 100 consideration (though almost certainly on the outside looking in). He could return to Double-A to open the season because of a relatively crowded group at Triple-A, but even if he does, you can expect that Wicks will be on that list of POSSIBLE call-ups in the second half of the season if (1) he’s rocking, and (2) a need arises.

So don’t forget about him!


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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.