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, Niko Kavadas
(Photo by Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images) /

Before the shutdown, Kavadas already had seven homers.

Q: Prior to the shutdown, you were off to a tremendous start this season. Seven home runs in your first 13 games. What can your attribute to the power surge that would have put you on pace for 25-30 home runs? And what are you doing to stay ready during this downtime?

A: I really started to catch my stride this season the weekend at Presbyterian. There I was able to find my timing and work on staying on top of baseballs to the backside. In BP I was able to hit balls that looked like 2-irons in the opposite field gap, and that’s how I knew I was locked in. As I stated before, I think the surge in power came from not trying to do too much, staying within myself, and realizing 415 feet is enough and 470 feet doesn’t come with a bonus.

During this downtime, I am getting outside and swinging on fields I used to play on as a child. I am blessed to have a backyard that’s big enough to throw a baseball in every day and a squat rack in the basement to help stay in shape. All of this quarantine time has allowed me to put my body in an ideal position where I feel extremely strong and fit. I am also blessed to have a little brother who also plays baseball, so he works wonders as a designated catch partner and BP thrower.

Q: What measures have you done or identified that you can do to reduce the number of strikeouts? 

A: To reduce the number of strikeouts, I think it’s important to make quality contact early in the count. This summer I was told “The best two-strike hitters don’t hit with two strikes very often” and that really stuck with me. Additionally, I believe command of the strike zone and discipline is important to reducing strikeouts.

Being aggressive on balls you can take advantage of and not expanding the strike zone too far with two strikes are ways in which I can reduce the number of strikeouts in upcoming seasons.

A special thank you to Niko (@nikkavadas22) for taking the time to speak with us! We wish you the best with your professional career and the draft process.