Height: 6′ 4″ | Weight: 226 lbs
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Position(s): Right-handed starting pitcher
University of Oklahoma
During this year’s amateur draft, the Washington Nationals used their 22nd pick in the first round to select a right-handed pitcher from the University of Oklahoma: Cade Cavalli.
Cavalli was rated by Baseball America as the #22 prospect in the draft, #14 by Fangraphs, and #22 by MLB Pipeline.
During his time at the University of Oklahoma, Cade Cavalli has shown improvement over the years. Cavalli was drafted by the Atlanta Braves back in 2017. However, he decided to go to the University of Oklahoma instead.
When he first arrived at the University of Oklahoma, Cavalli was considered a two-way player and played 62 games as a freshman but struggled at the plate as he struck out 94 times in 235 plate appearances.
Cavalli pitched mostly out of the bullpen during his freshman year, where he made nine appearances and had two starts. His two starts weren’t impressive; he threw in a total of 17 innings with a 6.75 ERA, allowed 18 hits and walked 13 batters, and struck out 18.
During Cavalli’s sophomore year at the University of Oklahoma, he was moved out of the bullpen and into the starting rotation. Over his 12 starts, Cavalli threw a total of 60 innings and earning a .328 ERA, with his walk rate dropping a bit, and ended up missing time during the season with a stress reaction in his arm.
Cade Cavalli Scouting Report
According to his scouting report, Cavalli’s performance lacks luster, and has trouble throwing strikes. Despite Cavalli’s high velocity, it seems that opposing hitters can see his fastball very well and hit the pitch well. However, Cavalli does have a solid slider that touches in the upper 80s and can get as high 90’s. Cavalli also has good pitching mechanics, so there is a solid foundation for working with and building on.
Cavalli’s bread and butter pitch is a mid 90s fastball with a lot of riding action at the top of the zone and a big hammer curve. That two-pitch combination led to many swinging strikes as a junior and a punchout rate of almost 40%.
Overall, the Washington Nationals made a great decision in choosing Cavalli in the first round. From all metrics, Cavalli has the foundation to become a permanent pitcher in the starting rotation for the Washington Nationals. Once he establishes himself in the High A’s, it will be less than two calendar years before pitching in the Washington Nationals rotation.