San Diego Padres Draft: Niko Kavadas pro comparisons and interview

(Photo by Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
(Photo by Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images) /
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San Diego Padres Draft
(Photo by Andy Hayt/San Diego Padres/Getty Images) /

As noted, Kavadas envisions himself at third base or in left field.

Q: You have played all over defensively. Baseball America lists you as a first baseman, but your primary starts last year came at third base and the designated hitter role. Where do you see yourself playing in the big leagues?

A: I see myself as being an everyday third baseman or left fielder at the major league level. Growing up and throughout high school, I was a centerfielder. Because of this, I believe I would be more than capable of relearning and retrieving my ability to run down fly balls and deliver throws to bases.

Also, because I played outfield my whole life prior to college, I still have so much to learn and so much room to develop as an infielder. After really only playing two full seasons of the infield, I feel I have improved greatly and yet have so much more potential to tap into defensively as my career progresses.

Q: What was it like for you, personally, having to deal with a head coaching change after experiencing your best season on campus?

A: Experiencing a coaching change was very difficult for me because it came with so many uncertainties. I spent much of my summer researching potential coaches and trying to understand their philosophies, as well as speculating what my junior year would look like under these new coaches. When Coach Jarrett got the job, I asked anyone and everyone I was in contact with for information about him, and everyone had nothing but positive things to say.

Because of this, I had extremely high expectations heading back to campus. Coach Jarrett not only lived up to but exceeded each of my expectations, and was a major influence on the great success our team had in the first few weeks of our abbreviated season.

Q: During the summer of 2019, you participated in the Cape Cod League. Were there any different goals that you were trying to accomplish playing there, and what would you say was your biggest takeaway from playing in two wood-bat leagues?

A: During my 2019 summer in the Cape Cod League, my main goal was to prove that I can hit for elite power with a wood bat against the best competition in the world. I personally like hitting with wood bats better. I believe that mechanically you have to be right with a wood bat as opposed to a metal bat where pure strength is often enough to be successful.

I would say my biggest takeaway is that I don’t need to muscle up to hit the ball out of the yard. Staying within myself and flicking balls all around the yard is enough to hit for power to all fields.