LOS ANGELES – Most mock drafts had the Cubs going with a bat with the 7th pick, but instead they took Oklahoma righty Cade Horton, who has shot up draft boards over just the last couple months.
Horton is just 20 years old. He underwent Tommy John surgery as a freshman and did not make his collegiate debut until March 29th.
The 6’1″, 211 pounder went 5-2 with a 4.86 in 14 games, 11 starts and was named to the freshman All-American team. Horton burst onto the scene during the Sooners postseason run, where he went 3-0 with a 2.61 ERA, including a dominant performance in the College World Series – thanks in part to a slider he learned before the Big 12 tournament.
“At Texas Tech, I really didn’t have a good start. I gave up eight runs in three innings or something like that. Even before Texas Tech, I felt guys were really getting to the fastball and sitting on one pitch – either the breaking ball or the fastball and once they got it they were just hammering it. After that start I was like, ‘I’ve got to do something different. I’ve got to add in a cutter or a slider.'”
It worked. Horton averaged over 14 strikeouts per nine innings in the postseason, allowing two-or-fewer runs in all five outings.