How pitching prospect Jordan Wicks has refined his arsenal with Cubs
In a matter of five months, Jordan Wicks went from the ace of Kansas State University to MLB’s first-year player draft to the Cubs complex in Arizona to the mound at Four Winds Field in South Bend, Ind. (the home of the Advanced Class-A Cubs affiliate).
But the whirlwind didn’t phase the changeup-spinning, master-of-command southpaw. Even just 7 innings into his MiLB career, Wicks is already making adjustments.
“I just want to attack guys with the new weapons I have,” Wicks said.
His over-the-top delivery allows his four-seam fastball to create an exceptional “rise” effect, or as some scouts call it “ride” or “carry.” This allows the pitch to succeed up in the strike zone — so much so that heading into 2022, Wicks suggested he will table his two-seam in favor of only using four-seamers.
“My two-seam was getting hit,” Wicks said. “That pitch was getting hit the most… so we looked at the numbers and kind of got away from [the pitch].”
On top of his fastball, he’s refined both his breaking balls. Instead of throwing a slider last season that embodied a more cutter-y shape, he’s adopted a slider with more lateral movement. His curveball — which last season acted more like a slider — has morphed into a vertical-breaking, 12-6 curveball that he executes with a “soft spike” of his index finger.
“When you throw a curveball, you want to finish to your knee,” Wicks said. “Slider, you want to come more across to your pocket because it creates that side action.”
And his devastating changeup, considered one of the best in the entire 2021 draft class, is still the primary put-away pitch in his mix.
Armed with four pitches and multiple modifications, Wicks enters 2022 with the expectation that he’ll quickly move through the Cubs system given his ample experience in the Big 12 conference.
Learn more about Wicks and the rest of the Cubs prospects working out down in Arizona: