Often times, college players have a strong postseasons and really improve their draft stock. Oklahoma’s Cade Horton is no exception. Here’s more on the College World Series standout.
- Peyton Graham (June 15)
- Drew Gilbert (June 21)
- Ryan Cermak (June 22)
- Thomas Harrington (June 27)
- Peyton Pallette (June 28)
- Landon Sims (June 29)
- Malcolm Moore (July 5)
6’2, 190 pounds
Position: Right-handed pitcher
DOB: Aug. 20, 2001
Year: Redshirt Freshman
Slot recommended bonus (No. 29): $1,950,900
Note: All information of draft prospects compiled from Internet sources, scouting reports and videos.
Horton wasn’t really on folks’ radar before the NCAA postseason. His performance during that time — 2.61 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 31 innings — pinged said radars and saw him fly up draft boards. His performance in the College World Series — College World Series, but his performance there — 13 1/3 IP, 9 H, 4 R/ER, 1 BB, 24 K — was even more impressive. Despite a pedestrian regular season (4.86 ERA), he has all the makings of a solid starting pitching prospect.
The right-hander is armed with a fastball that sits in the 94-96 MPH range and tops out at 98. It plays well up in the strike zone thanks to a high spin rate and action, which we know the Dodgers look for in their pitchers. In fact, he’s naturally gifted at getting spin on all three of his preferred offerings. His slider is a mid-to-high-80s spinner with depth and a tight break. It induces plenty of swinging strikes and is his best pitch. He also has a low-80s curveball that has flashed above-average and gives him another weapon against opposing batters. His changeup is fringy at best right now and he doesn’t throw it a lot, but perhaps that could be developed, if needed. Horton has a simple, compact delivery and throws from a high three-quarters arm slot.
He was a 2-way player coming into Oklahoma and had 168 plate appearances in 2022, but he hit just .235/.323/.324 while playing mostly third base. He’s plenty athletic to play on both sides of the ball, but his future is on the mound.
His overall profile isn’t dissimilar to that of Walker Buehler‘s, whose name I’ve mentioned in these pitching profiles pretty frequently. I don’t think that’s by mistake. Horton, who had Tommy John and missed the entire 2021 season, is one of the younger college draft eligible players, so his signability could be a bit of a question if he’s taken at No. 40. He’d be gambling on himself after a terrific close to his season, but if he doesn’t get the number he’s looking for, he could go back to school and be eligible next year. Horton has the makings of a solid No. 3/4 starter with a chance to be a No. 2/3 if everything breaks his way.