Wells set to start opening game tonight for Cubs’ affiliate in Daytona, Fla.

Former Bryant Hornets star Ben Wells will be the starting pitcher tonight for the Daytona Cubs[more] of the Florida State League as the team opens the 2013 season. The Cubs, a high Class A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, will be taking on the Brevard County Manatees (Milwaukee Brewers) at 6:05 p.m., CDT at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

Wells, who pitched a perfect game against the Van Buren Pointers in the 2010 Class 7A State championship game for the Hornets, was drafted in the seventh round by Chicago in the 2010 first-year player draft. Last year, limited by a sore elbow, he went 3-2 with a 3.27 earned run average for the Peoria Chiefs of the Class A Midwest League. He pitched in 12 games and started eight for the Chiefs, working 44 innings, striking out 36 and giving up 48 hits. He made one rehab appearance with the Cubs’ extended spring training team in the Arizona League and struck out the side around a walk in his only inning of work.

“I’m feeling good, ready to go,” he said earlier today. “I had a real good spring.

“I don’t throw a split-finger anymore,” he added, when asked about his repertoire. “I throw a change-up now. I throw a curveball and a slider now. I threw a slider in high school. They want me to start so I wanted a fourth pitch.”

Wells added that the Daytona team is rich in talent.

“I like it a lot,” he stated. “We have a bunch of good players. We’ve got two of the best prospects in the Cubs organization on defense behind me.”

That includes the Cubs’ top two prospects, last year’s number one pick, Javier Baez at short, and Jorge Soler in right field. Baez played against the Bryant Hornets as a member of the Arlington County Day Apaches of Jacksonville, Fla., in the Florida League High School Invitational Tournament over spring break in March. He belted two home runs in the game but the Hornets forged an 8-4 win.

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