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2019 MLB Draft Profile: Keoni Cavaco, 3B, Eastlake HS (CA)

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The 2019 draft season’s biggest riser, Cavaco is an athletic, projectable infielder with an enviable swing

Measureables

Height: 6’1”

Weight: 180 lbs.

Bats/Throws: R/R

IF velo: 91 MPH

60 yd: 6.75 sec

Player Summary

An unknown entering the year, Cavaco exploded onto the radars of scouts early this spring and has seen his stock hold in the day one range since. When watching Cavaco play this season, it’s easy to see why he’s made such a positive impression. At 6’1” with long arms and a very projectable frame, Cavaco is a natural fit at the hot corner and has solid actions at the position. He’s a decent runner but not especially fast and will probably lose a tick of speed as he gets bigger, but he’s a sudden athlete who should have decent range at the position regardless. Additionally, his arm is already an asset on defense and should only get stronger.

At the plate, Cavaco is even more impressive. He has a simple setup and exceptionally quick-trigger swing. He has consistent mechanics and balance. At present he’s a line drive hitter, and can make loud contact to all fields. It’s difficult to project hit tool in players this young, but there is potential for Cavaco to be an above average to plus hitter given how quickly he gets to the ball with authority. His feel for hitting is mature, and he shows nascent home run power that should only grow as he does.

The biggest key to success for Cavaco will be finding an approach at the plate that works in the pro game, as all of the ingredients are there on both sides of the ball. While there’s no particular carrying tool, I’m bullish on his bat and think a 55/60 projection would be reasonable, if aggressive, with the amount of strength he should add with time. In a class stacked with bats at all levels, Cavaco has met a tall order in shooting up draft boards. The first fifteen picks could conceivably include eight corner bats (Andrew Vaughn, Hunter Bishop, Michael Busch, J.J. Bleday, Josh Jung, Kameron Misner, Riley Greene, Brett Baty), but after those names, Cavaco’s offensive potential is likely to make him the next best option in the eyes of many teams.

Cavaco checks a lot of boxes for me with his quiet setup at the plate, sudden athleticism, great hands and projectable power, and I think his ceiling is that of a well rounded, heart of the order hitter who should develop into an adequate defender with an above average arm at third. Assuming his mental game develops as expected, his ability to make quality contact to all fields and power potential should take him a long way. I’d have a solid first-round grade on him.

Grades (Potential)

HIT - 55 | POWER - 60 | RUN - 45 | FIELD - 50 | ARM - 55

Projected Draft Round

It appears that Cavaco’s day one status has been cemented and he may be a late first round pick.

Does he fit with Houston?

The Astros’ first round position is in Cavaco’s range, and he fits a similar mold to 2012 Luhnow draft pick Rio Ruiz. He may be an option for them in round one, but that will likely be their only chance at him as they don’t pick again until 68th overall.

Will he sign?

I would think so. As a corner bat, there’s not much more room for his stock to climb.

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