Wicks is the 333rd former Northwoods League player to debut in MLB
Rochester, Minn. – Former Rockford Rivet Jordan Wicks made his Major League debut for the Chicago Cubs on Saturday, August 26, 2023. Wicks is the 333rd former Northwoods League player, and the first former Rivet to reach the Major League level.
Wicks, who played collegiately at Kansas State University, played for the Rivets in 2020. He was drafted by the Cubs in the 1st round, 21st overall, of the 2021 MLB Draft.
In 2020 with the Rivets, Wicks appeared in four games and was 2-0 with a .45 ERA. He struck out 29 batters in 20.0 innings while walking five.
Wicks started his professional career in 2021 with the South Bend Cubs of the High-A Central League. He pitched in four games and went 0-0 with a 5.14 ERA. Over 7.0 innings he struck out five while walking three.
Wicks began the 2022 season with South Bend and then was promoted, after 16 games, to the Tennessee Smokies of the AA Southern League. Between the two clubs he appeared in 24 games and was 4-6 with a 3.80 ERA. He stuck out 121 batters in 94.2 innings while walking 28.
Prior to his call-up to the Cubs, Wicks had started the season with Tennessee and then moved to the Iowa Cubs of the AAA International League. For the year he was 7-0 with a 3.55 ERA in 20 games. He had 99 strikeouts in 91.1 innings and a 1.172 WHIP. In his Major League debut against the Pirates, Wicks started the game and went 5.0 innings allowing one run on two hits while striking out nine. He became the first Cubs pitcher since at least 1901 to strike out nine or more batters in his MLB debut. Wicks retired the final 15 batters he faced before exiting the game. The 15 consecutive batters retired is the best performance in a Cubs debut since 1974. Finally, Wicks became just the third Cubs pitcher to record a win and strike out at least nine batters in his MLB debut, joining Mark Prior (2002) and Dutch Reuther (1917).
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed ts’ 30th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 24 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires, and front office staff, over 330 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (TEX), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and 2019/2021 Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and 2021 All-Star, MLB Gold Glove winner and 2019 Second Team All-MLB shortstop Marcus Semien (TEX). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website at watchnwl.com and on ESPN+. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.