Perfect Game recently released its mock draft and has the Padres going with a college pitcher but not the name we’ve seen before.
Cade Cavalli has shot up draft boards, and Perfect Game’s recent mock draft has the Padres taking the Oklahoma Sooner with the eighth overall pick. Baseball America ranks him as the 22nd best prospect in this draft class, but as noted, his name has been picking up steam heading towards this week’s draft.
"“A name that could have seen himself go even sooner in this year’s draft had the pandemic not cut things off is Cade Cavalli. His draft stock has risen pretty substantially over the course of the past calendar year and what he showed in the shortened season, with Team USA last summer as well as in 12 starts a year ago. The fastball gets into the 97-98 mph peak range and the slider is plus more often than not.”"
Cavalli made 62 appearances – including two starts – for the Sooners as a true freshman, and let’s just say that he had some growing pains. The big righty posted a 6.75 ERA with 18 strikeouts and 13 walks. He played in the Cape Cod League the following summer, learning how to become a starter.
Back on campus, he made 12 starts for the Sooners during his sophomore campaign, striking out 59 in 60.1 innings but still walked 35. He limited batters to a .246 average and posted a 3.28 ERA.
He was off to a modest start this year before the shutdown, making four starts and displaying better command. Cavalli had struck out 37 in just 23.2 innings of work, and perhaps more importantly, he had walked just five batters.
At 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, Cavalli has the ideal size you’d look for in a future starting pitcher, and he already has two plus pitches in both his fastball and slider. Interestingly enough, Perfect Game’s mock draft has Minnesota’s Max Meyer and high school prep star Zac Veen going consecutively just before the Padres are on the clock.
Those two guys have been most consistently projected to the Friars in the first round. In this mock, the Padres pass up Louisville’s Reid Detmers, who, to me, has a better track record than Cavalli, striking out 200+ batters a year ago.
What do you think of this mock draft?