Photo by Geoff Smith/The Berkshire Eagle
WEYMOUTH, Mass. (June 10, 2020) -- University of Oklahoma junior and 2017 Pittsfield Sun Cade Cavalli became the highest Futures Collegiate Baseball League player ever selected in Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft on Wednesday night.
Cavalli was chosen by the defending World Series champion Washington Nationals with the No. 22 overall pick, becoming just the second-ever Futures Leaguer to hear his name called in the first round. Cavalli, who is regarded as one of the hardest throwers in the class, was listed as the No. 22 prospect by both MLB.com and Baseball America entering Wednesday.
Cavalli was a two-way player and the Futures League’s No. 5 prospect during his summer in Pittsfield as he appeared in 16 games as an infielder and three as a pitcher. The Bixby, Okla., native recorded 13 hits, two doubles, a home run, nine RBI and nine runs scored for the Suns, while striking out three over 2.1 innings of one-hit ball from the mound.
Cavalli was a First Team All-Big 12 honoree as a utility player for the Sooners in 2019. The 6-foot-4 righty pitched 12 games as the team’s Friday night starter, going 5-3 with a 3.28 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 60.1 innings. He also posted a .319 average, five doubles, two triples, four homers and 17 RBI in 19 games as a hitter last spring.
After pitching for USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team last summer, Cavalli returned to his role at the top of the OU rotation in 2020 as the Big 12 Preseason Pitcher of the Year. He led the conference with 37 strikeouts in 23.2 innings.
The only former or rostered Futures League player drafted in the first round prior to Cavalli was former Boston College and 2012 Nashua Silver Knights slugger Chris Shaw. The Lexington, Mass., native Shaw was the No. 31 overall pick (in the first compensation round) by the San Francisco Giants in 2015 and became the second of three total league alumni to make his MLB debut back on Aug. 31, 2018.
The MLB First-Year Player Draft concludes on Thursday with the second through fifth rounds.