Cade Horton already feels at home with Cubs thanks to connection with Ed Howard, Pete Crow-Armstrong and others
Moments after his name was announced as the 7th overall pick by commissioner Rob Manfred, Cubs’ 1st-round pick Cade Horton picked up his phone and made a call.
On the other end was 2020 Cubs’ 1st-round pick Ed Howard, whom Horton had played with in the past and whom he shared a mutual friendship with through Oklahoma outfielder Kendall Pettis. Horton let Howard know he was joining him in the Cubs organization.
“He was actually one of the first guys I called after my name got called,” Horton said. “I was just so excited to be able to be with him and I’m just ready to get to work.”
Howard was originally committed to Oklahoma before he signed with the Cubs. When Horton arrived at Oklahoma in 2020, he and Pettis hit it off right away and became best friends. Pettis – a Chicago native who went to Brother Rice High School on the South Side – knew Howard, so the trio formed a connection through several direct and indirect paths.
Horton had an idea that the Cubs were interested in him, but he was still pleasantly surprised to be taken 7th by the Cubs.
“I had a few talks with my agent and the Cubs were definitely on the radar,” Horton said. “I just didn’t know where. My reaction, it’s just, it’s crazy. It doesn’t feel real. I’m just so blessed to be in this position.”
That connection with Howard gives Horton some familiarity as he begins his ascension through the Cubs’ minor league ranks. But it’s not the only familiar face that Horton knows.
The right-handed pitcher played with top prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong and knows 2018 6th round pick Kohl Franklin because Franklin is from Broken Arrow, Okla.
“Me and him have met up a couple times with him just being from Oklahoma,” Horton said. “So yeah, I’m excited to see him too.”