Last year, the New York Yankees addressed an organizational need in the first two rounds of the MLB Draft when they took back-to-back catchers in Anthony Seigler and Josh Breaux. If New York goes about that same strategy of addressing an organizational need two months from now, then third base could be a possible option.
One of the more intriguing names at the hot corner in this year’s draft class is Keoni Cavaco. Cavaco, who is committed to San Diego State University, currently plays at Eastlake High School in Chula Vista, California. He plays a variety of positions including third base, second base, first base, outfield, and he’s on the mound. However, he is viewed primarily as a third baseman when he begins his professional career.
Right now, when you look at Baseball America’s list of the Top 300 prospects in this year’s class, the right-hander has moved up to 39th on the list. When you look at his scouting report (subscription required), the power that Cavaco has could help him move up into being an option for the Yankees with the 30th or 37th pick this year:
“Scouts see huge raw power with Cavaco, which grades out as a plus tool presently, while he’s also got a plus throwing arm from the hot corner and is an above-average defender at the position.”
In the early stages of his high school season, Cavaco has stood out at the plate. According to Max Preps, he’s 6-for-15 at the plate with a home run, seven RBIs, and a .522 on-base percentage. While he’s only thrown 2.1 innings, he has yet to allow a hit and has struck out three of the six batters he has faced.
The key for Cavaco is going to be can he make contact on a consistent basis. This is a day and age in baseball where strikeouts aren’t the end of the world if you can hit the long ball. As you will see in this video courtesy of Perfect Game when Cavaco does make contact, it is very noticeable:
When you look at the latest mock draft at Baseball America by Carlos Collazo (subscription required), he has Cavaco being selected with the 26th pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Now, Arizona has eight picks in the top 100, so they could take a chance on a player that has the kind of raw power Cavaco has at the plate.
The Yankees don’t have that many top 100 picks. However, acquiring that second First Round pick in the Sonny Gray deal this offseason allows the team to be flexible and to take a chance with one of those picks if someone they like falls to them.
If Cavaco’s stock continues to rise throughout the spring, don’t be surprised if the Yankees take him at one of those two picks and try to develop a player that is six-foot-one and can mash the cover out of the baseball at a premium position for them.