Baseball America Identifies ‘Underrated’ Red Sox Draft Pick With Huge Power

Did Boston find a diamond in the rough?

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Marcelo Mayer won’t be the only Red Sox draft pick worth monitoring in the coming years.

Boston selected 20 players in the 2021 Major League Baseball draft. Some of them will pan out, and others won’t — that’s baseball. Mayer is the unquestioned star of the group, but don’t be surprised if players taken in later rounds also make names for themselves.

Baseball America on Wednesday identified “underrated” draft picks for each team. It went with 11th-round pick Niko Kavadas for the Red Sox.

Here’s a scouting report BA wrote on Kavadas ahead of the draft:

Kavadas was draft-eligible in 2020, when he ranked as the No. 169 player in the class thanks to his massive power potential from the left side. After homering seven times in his first 13 games during the shortened 2020 season, Kavadas has been among the home run leaders this spring, popping 21 through 44 games, while slashing .309/.476/.785. On top of that, Kavadas has put together the best plate discipline numbers of his career with a 22% walk rate and 24% strikeout rate. Kavadas was near the top of the Division I leaderboard in walks per game, with 1.07. It was important that Kavadas had a strong year with the bat, as the entirety of his profile is reliant on that. A first baseman for Notre Dame, Kavadas is a well below-average runner with limited range who will be limited to first base or DH at the next level. He has the raw power to profile there and he can send the ball out of the park in any direction, and he did a nice job getting into hitter’s counts and then hammering fastballs this spring. He did struggle more against breaking and offspeed stuff and was also less successful than scouts would have liked to see against 93-plus mph velocity, which are valid concerns for his pure hit tool at the next level. Some teams might be out on Kavadas given his age and defensive profile, but there?s real power for a team that thinks he?ll be able to regularly get to it at the next level with a wood bat.

And here are highlights from Kavadas’s workout at Fenway Park in 2019:

Whether Kavadas will hit enough to earn a spot in the big leagues remains to be seen. But the 22-year-old Indiana native clearly has talent, and plus-power is more valuable now than at any point in baseball history.

Kavadas likely will start his professional career in the Florida Complex League (formerly the Florida Gulf Coast League).

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