Cade Horton already possesses some background knowledge on the Chicago Cubs.

The Cubs selected Horton, a right-hander out of Oklahoma, with the No. 7 pick in the MLB draft. One of Horton’s first calls Sunday night as a member of the organization went to Cubs prospect Ed Howard.

Horton kept in touch with Howard after playing together in MLB’s Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) League during the summer before their junior year of high school. They almost reunited in college. Howard committed to Oklahoma before signing with the Cubs as the 16th pick in 2020.

Going into the draft, Horton said the Cubs were “definitely on the radar.” He watched the draft with his family and high school and college teammates at his home in Norman, Okla.

“It’s crazy. It doesn’t feel real,” Horton said Sunday night on a video conference call. “I’m just so blessed to be in this position and ready to get to work.”

When the moment arrived for the Cubs to make their first-round pick, they could have opted for one of the top available hitters. They instead went with Horton.

“Throughout the year we noticed that there were some pitchers that ended up standing out and maybe changing that narrative a little bit in terms of it being a high school hitter-heavy draft,” Cubs vice president of scouting Dan Kantrovitz said on a video call Sunday night. “The industry might have thought a little bit differently in terms of, at the end of the spring, what the strength ended up being.”

When Horton was deciding whether to go pro out of high school in 2020, Kantrovitz and the Cubs were one of the teams to make a home visit before the pandemic. When Kantrovitz called to congratulate Horton on Sunday night, he asked if Horton remembered that visit more than two years ago. Horton replied, “Of course.”

“It was nice to hear that and to have that connection remain intact,” Kantrovitz said. “Building the history of a player like that also gave us confidence that we had a pretty good handle on his makeup as well.”

Horton is the Cubs’ highest draft pick since they took Kyle Schwarber with the fourth pick in 2014. The Cubs previously picked at No. 7 twice: In 1974 they drafted outfielder Scot Thompson (626 major-league games, minus-5.7 WAR, third in National League Rookie of the Year voting in 1979) and in 1976 they took right-hander Herman Segelke (three games, …read more

Source:: The Mercury News


MLB draft: Chicago Cubs select Oklahoma right-hander Cade Horton at No. 7. Here’s who else they picked.

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