This series of Cubs prospect profiles is based on Fangraphs’ top 52 prospects list, minus the players who have already been profiled. Generally, these will be of Triple-A and Double-A players that might see the 40-man roster at some point. I’m not necessarily doing them in order and will skip around a bit.
Jackson Conner Ferris is a second-round pick, chosen after Cade Horton. Fangraphs has him as the No. 17 Cubs prospect, but it must be noted that the list includes a number of players already on or who have been on the major-league team, and quite a few are 25 or over. It’s hard for me to look at a 25-year-old as a prospect. That’s about the time good players are surfacing and extraordinary players are solidifying their hold on their spots.
Fangraphs has pegged Ferris’ Cubs tenure as beginning in 2027. He’s only played one professional season, all in A ball, and though his results were good (2-3, 3.38, 77 SO in 56 innings, 33 BB, 1.21 WHIP), still he has a long road ahead of him.
MLB.com has Ferris at No. 8, which to me is more reasonable, and gives him the following scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 55 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 45 | Overall: 50.
“He physically resembles Blake Snell at the same age but with superior stuff and mechanics.”
“When he keeps his mechanics in sync, Ferris displays three plus pitches that can miss bats in the strike zone, the best of which is a 92-95 mph fastball that touches 97 and arrives on a flat approach angle with excellent carry. His best secondary offering is a 75-78 mph curveball that features high spin rates and can be a hammer with 12-6 break at its best. He also shows advanced feel for a mid-80s changeup with fade that should become more consistent as he uses it more often as a pro.”
They also have the southpaw as a 2026 arrival. “After the Cubs signed MLB Pipeline’s top-rated college arm (Cade Horton) for $1.26 million below his assigned pick value at No. 7, they floated Ferris to the second round and paid him $3,005,000.”
He’s essentially a second first-rounder and carries that kind of skillset and pedigree.
But he’s a prep school kid and not a college pitcher, so his path is necessarily different than Horton’s. He’s not as polished. But he’s being prepped to be a star:
He’s got the stuff. Now he has to harness it consistently:
Remember that Ferris has only been a pro for part of a season. If he opens the season in Myrtle Beach, he’ll likely split the season because he’ll be in Tennessee before too long. The Cubs have made a big investment in this player.
Northside Baseball says he “has tremendous potential, but he’s miles away.” He’s a teenaged prospect. The Cubs will remake his pitches and delivery to best suit his and their needs. He’s 6’4”, with a live arm and a feel for the spin.
That’s plenty to dream on, for now.