SoxProspects News

July 23, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Munoz lifts Worcester to a win



7/23 Cup of Coffee: There was a good amount of offense last night, as Yairo Munoz, Kole Cottam (pictured), and Will Dalton had huge games for Worcester and Greenville, respectively. Portland dropped a tough one despite a great outing for Frank German, while Matthew Kent and Bradley Blalock were solid for Worcester and Salem. The DSL Sox Blue team was also on fire with the bats, scoring 17 runs

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Yairo Munoz' huge game propelled the Sox to a win in this one. The leadoff hitter went 3 for 5 with a double, his fifth home run, and three runs scored. Chris Hermann also belted a two-run shot, his sixth of the year. Josh Ockimey added a pair of hits as well. Matthew Kent was solid, surrendering two runs in five innings with four strikeouts, two walks, and five hits allowed. Jose Adames and Kaleb Ort each tossed a scoreless frame to close it out, with Ort picking up save number 10. 
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July 22, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Arauz powers WooSox amidst hug watch false alarms


7/22 Cup of Coffee:
The affiliates swept on Wednesday, but the performances of those on the diamond were overshadowed by four prominent exits from it. Just 10 days before the trading deadline, a confluence of events led to two players on the 40-man roster, another hot prospect who faces Rule 5 eligibility this winter, and a former top draft selection all to be lifted from their games within a couple hours, igniting trade speculation. It all appears to have been coincidental, however. WooSox outfielder Marcus Wilson left the game with a hamstring injury, while Franchy Cordero exited in the ninth to likely take the spot of Danny Santana, who is expected to be placed on the Injured List. Cameron Cannon, the 43rd overall pick in 2019, was hurt running out his 21st double of the season. The reasons, if any, for the removal of Pedro Castellanos from the Portland game have yet to be reported, but no reports of a trade have come through.

Rampant rumors didn't slow down Portland, winning its 15th in a row largely on the contributions of Ryan Fitzgerald and Kutter Crawford. Jonathan Arauz (pictured) keyed the Worcester victory, while Christian Koss launched a solo homer in support of Brian Van Belle. Nick Yorke continued streaking for Salem in the Sox victory.
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July 21, 2021 at 9:29 PM

Podcast Ep. #218: Draft and farm with MLB.com's Jim Callis


With another draft in the books, the guys brought back MLB Pipeline's Jim Callis for his regular visit to the show! He discussed the Red Sox' draft, including where Marcelo Mayer is going to rank on his list, which players might (or might not) need overslot deals to sign, and more! Before our esteemed guest, the guys checked in for the first three games of the Jarren Duran era, then crowed a bit about calling the recall of Tanner Houck. Then Chris ate some crow for saying that the Red Sox wouldn't acquire anyone for CJ Chatham, as Victor Santos has become the newest Sox prospect. After our normal transactions check-in, we got to more of your terrific emails!
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at 10:00 AM

Scouting Scratch: Brayan Bello, Jose Adames and Zack Kelly


Over the past few weeks, I have traveled to see Portland and Worcester in person. This is the first of several scouting notebooks breaking down what I’m seeing and hearing about Red Sox prospects, starting with the Portland pitchers.

Right-handed pitcher Brayan Bello is one of the Red Sox prospects whose stock has risen the most this season. Coming out of Fall Instructs, we reported that Bello was showing some of the best raw stuff of any pitcher that threw there. He has continued his ascension, building upon that impressive look, with raw stuff that has ticked up even more this year. In a recent start, Bello sat 95-97 mph and flashed a plus changeup and above-average slider. Even though he is not the biggest pitcher, he generates easy velocity. He is a good athlete with a lightning-quick arm that is so fast it can easily get out of sync with the rest of his delivery. His changeup is the more advanced of his two secondary pitches, working in the 85-88 mph range with late, diving movement. He can really pull the string on it and throws it with the same arm speed as his fastball. It is a potential plus pitch, one that could miss bats at the highest level. His slider lags behind some, but still has improved to the point where it will flash at least above-average potential. He throws it in the mid-80s with the pitch showing two-plane movement and solid depth. Bello has many of the ingredients teams look for in a starting pitching prospect. He has the potential for three at least average pitches, with one of his secondaries already looking like a major league-quality out pitch. His stock is on the rise both within the SoxProspects ranks and nationally. We currently have him as the third-ranked pitching prospect in the system, but he is pushing to move higher on that list. As several industry sources have asked me, “are we sure Bello isn’t the top pitching prospect in the system already?”
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at 6:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Sale strikes out six; Scott hits walk-off single in Salem


7/21 Cup of Coffee:
Chris Sale looked as good as Red Sox fans could hope in his second rehab appearance, holding Harrisburg hitless and striking out six in 3 2/3 innings. Elsewhere on the farm, Nick Yorke had another great game while Stephen Scott (pictured) hit a walk-off single for Salem. In the FCL, the Red Sox had what will likely be one of their best offensive performances of the year, but they still lost by a touchdown plus an extra point. Brainer BonaciEduardo Vaughan, and Bryan Gonzalez all broke out of mini-slumps to start the season. 

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It was not Worcester's night with only Kaleb Ort able to keep the IronPigs off the board. Kyle Hart started but only went 1 2/3 innings while allowing three runs. Both John Schreiber and Matt Hall allowed five runs as Lehigh Valley plated 13 runs through the first six innings. Playing left field, Franchy Cordero went 1 for 5 with a strikeout. Connor Wong went 2 for 3 with two walks, Yairo Muñoz went 1 for 3 with a double and two walks, and Chris Herrmann went 1 for 5 with a double. 
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July 20, 2021 at 8:00 AM

Minor Notes: Jarren Duran called up to the majors


Here are this week's minor league notes:


  • The biggest news came on Wednesday when news broke that centerfielder and SoxProspects.com's second-ranked prospect, Jarren Duran (pictured, right), was being called up to the majors. He started the season in Worcester, hitting .270/.365/.561 with 15 home runs over 46 games, showing off the newfound power that accompanied a 2020 swing change. 
  • His debut would have to wait a couple of nights after the Thursday night Red Sox vs Yankees game was canceled due to a Covid outbreak in the Yankees organization and Duran sat against a lefty starter on Friday. Duran started in center on Saturday, batting sixth, and went 1-for-2 with a walk while singling on the very first pitch he saw in the majors and going on to score. On Sunday, he batted seventh while going hitless in four at-bats with two strikeouts. On Monday, he accomplished another first -- his first big-league homer -- in a 1-for-6 effort.
  • Followers of the site likely are familiar with Duran, but if not, the SoxProspects.com scouting department also updated their scouting report of the 6-foot-2, 24-year-old.
  • Obviously, the signal immediately went out to the SoxProspects.com team that a podcast would be needed to cover this big news. In episode #217, they cover the Duran call-up and its effects, recap the draft, talk about the Futures game and upcoming Olympics, and some other roster moves.
  • Executive Editor Chris Hatfield was so excited that he couldn't be limited to just one podcast, so he joined Matthew Kory on his podcast, The Sox Outsider Podcast, to discuss the Duran promotion. the draft, and other Red Sox prospect-related items.
  • Duran wasn't the only one excited about the promotion -- his family had waited years in hopes of getting this news and Alex Speier of The Boston Globe spoke to Jarren's father Octavio about the whirlwind experience getting everyone to New York in time to see his son's major league debut. 
  • Duran has been impressed with what the big league club has done over the first half of the season, telling The Boston Globe's Peter Abraham that he thinks he hopes to provide "a little boost of energy."
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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Leadoff hitters Bonaci, Chacon key sweep in Rookie Leagues


7/20 Cup of Coffee:
While the full-season teams enjoyed their weekly Monday repose, the Rookie-level teams did anything but relax. Brainer Bonaci (pictured) reached base three more times and Wilkelman Gonzalez struck out nine for the second straight outing as the FCL Sox won their eighth straight. Juan Chacon was a similar sparkplug at the top of the DSL Red Sox Blue's 16-run outburst, while Axel James continued to rake for the Red Sox Red. 

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The streaking FCL Sox squad won its eighth straight game, running over a reeling Orioles team that has now lost eight straight and 13 of 14 on the year. Wilkelman Gonzalez turned in another strong effort, allowing two runs on four hits in five innings, striking out nine without issuing a walk. The effort gave Gonzalez the first win of his professional career. Joey Stock and Merfy Andrew pitched two hitless innings apiece out of the bullpen. Brainer Bonaci paced the offense out of the leadoff spot with a double, two walks, and a run scored. Blaze Jordan added a double, the first two-bagger of the 2020 third-round pick's career. Miguel Ugueto has been the team's hottest hitter and continued that on Monday, going 2 for 3 with a stolen base and a run scored.
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July 19, 2021 at 6:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Sea Dogs hit four home runs to extend winning streak


7/19 Cup of Coffee: 
The Sea Dogs have won 13 straight and are now 14-1 in July after a shellacking of Reading on Sunday. Portland was the beneficiary of home runs from Devlin Granberg (pictured), Hudson Potts, Jeisson Rosario, and Pedro Castellanos, which was more than enough to support Josh Winckowski. Worcester was rained out while Greenville was only able to finish one of two scheduled games. In Salem, Chih-Jung Liu and Matthew Lugo led the way. 

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Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders @ Worcester Red Sox, PPD (rain)
Both Saturday's suspended game and Sunday's regularly scheduled game were not played due to rain. Both games will be played when the RailRiders return to Worcester from August 17-22. 

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The Sea Dogs made it 13 in a row with a dominant offensive performance. The top six hitters in the order combined to go 17 for 29, led by Devlin Granberg who went 4 for 6 with a home run. The most damage came on a Hudson Potts grand slam, and he finished the day 3 for 5. Jeisson Rosario also homered while going 2 for 4 with a walk and stolen base, and Pedro Castellanos went 3 for 6 with a double and a home run. Castellanos now has an OPS over 1.000 since the start of June. 
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July 18, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Bonaci hits grand slam, weather shortens night everywhere


7/18 Cup of Coffee:
There was weather all around on Saturday, leaving just one full-season contest to be completed in its entirety in Salem's game against Fayetteville, which went to extra innings. Portland and Reading played an eight-inning contest, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Worcester were only able to complete one inning at Polar Park, while Greenville and Asheville couldn't even get going. However, the FCL Red Sox teed off on the Twins, while the two DSL squads were matched up against each other. Brainer Bonaci (pictured) hit a grand slam for the FCL team, while Juan Daniel Encarnacion was outstanding in relief after Connor Seabold's rehab start. Devlin Granberg also went yard in Portland's shortened game.

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Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (NYY) 0, Worcester Red Sox 0
Due to the rain storm in the area, this game was suspended in the top of the second and will be completed July 18. Marcus Walden is on the mound, while Scranton/Wilkes-Barre has runners on first and second with nobody out. Max McDowell is at the plate. Yairo Munoz has the only hit for Worcester.
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July 17, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: German, Scherff lead Sea Dogs to 11th straight


7/17 Cup of Coffee:
Friday brought a full slate of games, with all seven teams plus the major league club in action, unencumbered by off-days, rainouts, or pandemics. Portland continues to be a system highlight, extending its winning streak on the strong arms of Frank German and Alex Scherff (pictured) and a pair of home runs. Surging leadoff hitters Christian Koss and Nick Yorke continue to key the Greenville and Salem offenses, with the Drive coming away with the victory. The FCL Red Sox won their fifth straight, while both DSL clubs came away victorious.

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Worcester fell to Scranton for a second straight game despite a big night from Franchy Cordero. The leftfielder went 2 for 3 with a  double, two walks, stolen base, RBI, and a run scored. Yairo Munoz had three hits and swiped a pair of bases, Danny Santana started his rehab stint, going 0 for 3 with a walk and a run scored. Scranton connected for three home runs off of starter Steven Gonsalves. Overall he allowed five runs (four earned) on eight hits in six innings, striking out nine. Jose Adames was a bright spot out of the Worcester bullpen, striking out one in a perfect ninth. Adams has not yet allowed a run in four appearances since hit promotion from Portland.
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July 16, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Sale strikes out five in first rehab start


7/16 Cup of Coffee: Chris Sale was the story yesterday, as he made his first rehab appearance for the FCL Red Sox, and all indications are that things went very well. The system saw some other great pitching performances as well, most notably from Kutter Crawford and Brian Van Belle. Hudson Potts (pictured) hit a massive home run to give Portland a win, and Tyreque Reed and Joe Davis continued to mash. 

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Worcester starter Kevin McCarthy was roughed up for seven runs in just 2 1/3 innings. Matthew Kent didn't fare much better out of the bullpen, allowing three runs in 3 2/3 innings. Seth Blair was the bright spot for the pitching staff, tossing two scoreless innings with four strikeouts and no walks. Yairo Munoz went 1 for 4 with the lone Sox extra-base hit of the night, his fourth triple of the year. Jonathan Arauz went 2 for 4 with an RBI, and Josh Ockimey and Jack Lopez each went 1 for 3 with a walk. 
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July 15, 2021 at 5:38 PM

Podcast Ep. #217 - Draft Recap… and Duran to the Bigs!


The 2021 draft is in the books and Chris and Ian are back to cover the entire slate of selections… BUT FIRST, AN EMERGENCY ADDENDUM! Jarren Duran received the call to New York to join the Red Sox for his first MLB call-up. Chris and Ian hopped back on to discuss what they expect from the system’s second-ranked prospect, what other moves might be coming, and what this means for the Red Sox lineup. That out of the way, they review the latest round of promotions and other news from the system. They break down the extension Matt Barnes signed and talk about Connor Seabold’s eagerly anticipated system debut. The guys also talk about which other players have been tabbed to play in the Olympics and their impressions from the Futures Game. Then Chris and Ian talk through all the day 2 and 3 picks the Red Sox made. Finally, they get to a lot of terrific questions in a Mega Mailbag!Thanks for writing in and make sure to send your questions to podcast@soxprospects.com

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at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Ockimey powers WooSox; Koss rips four hits


7/15 Cup of Coffee:
It was an excellent night down on the farm even after the news of the coming promotion of Jarren Duran. Josh Ockimey (pictured) had a big evening for Worcester, hitting a pair of homers and driving in three runs in the WooSox doubleheader split. Triston Casas went deep for Portland, while Christian Koss and Grant Gambrell starred in a Greenville shutout. Salem also emerged victorious as a returning Nick Yorke and a streaking Gilberto Jimenez led the way from the top of the lineup. 

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Worcester went shorthanded into its doubleheader with first-place Scranton following the news that Jarren Duran would be promoted to the major league squad. Josh Ockimey did his part to pick up the slack, blasting a pair of solo homers off top Yankee pitching prospect Deivi Garcia. Yairo Munoz added a pair of hits. Despite taking the loss, Kyle Hart went the distance for the (seven-inning) complete game. Hart allowed four runs 10 hits, striking out eight, and walking three. 
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July 14, 2021 at 6:56 PM

Scouting Report Update: Jarren Duran gets The Call


Early Wednesday evening, Joe McDonald from the Worcester Telegram and Gazette broke that Jarren Duran wasn't in the lineup for the Worcester Red Sox because he was on his way to New York to make his Major League debut. Duran is in the midst of the best season of his professional career, hitting .270/.365/.561 with 15 home runs and 13 steals in 219 plate appearances in Triple-A. He also spent a few weeks with Team USA helping them qualify for the Olympics, and was one of the standout performers at the Qualifier. 

Duran's promotion comes with the Red Sox entering a pivotal stretch as they look to secure their position at the top of the American League East. The Red Sox have received inconsistent play from their third outfielder this year and the team will look to Duran to take an everyday spot, likely pushing Kiké Hernández into the infield primarily. The Red Sox will need to make room on the 40-man roster for Duran as well as the active roster, with the designation for assignment of a member of the bullpen the most likely move.

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at 12:00 PM

Minor Notes: Draft and Futures Game recap; DSL season begins


Here are this week's minor league notes:
  • With the MLB Draft now in the rearview mirror, fans can learn about the system's newest prospects on the SoxProspects.com News Page as well as the Draft History page. In-depth reports have been written on the picks in the first 10 rounds, including Marcelo Mayer and Jud Fabian, as well as higher-level overviews of the picks in rounds 11-15 and 16-20. To see how each picked ranked with the national publications, check out our Rankings post. 
  • SoxProspects.com Editor-in-Chief Mike Andrews has all the details on the Draft Signing Period which runs through August 1. Also included in the post is a link to his initial projections on who will or will not sign. At first glance the longest odds to sign looks to be 15th rounder Payton Green
  • Chris and Ian recorded a podcast on Sunday night recapping the Mayer pick while discussing where he ranks in the system. Between Mayer, Triston Casas, and Jarren Duran, opinion on who is the system's number one prospect depends on what you value the most in a player. 
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at 6:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Scott drives in eight; Casas ends home run drought


7/14 Cup of Coffee: An eight-RBI game from Stephen Scott (pictured) in Salem highlighted an up-and-down day on the farm. The strikeout bug bit Worcester's stars and spoiled a strong start from Raynel Espinal. Fans are hoping that Tuesday's home run can snap Triston Casas out of his recent slump, while his teammates Pedro Castellanos and Joey Meneses continue to prey on Double-A pitching. Greenville continued to get production from both Christian Koss and Brandon Howlett who have both been hot lately, and Luis Perales made his much-anticipated debut in the DSL. 

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The WooSox had only four hits and struck out 10 times in the loss to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Raynel Espinal, who spent parts of two seasons with the RailRiders, left with the lead after firing five scoreless innings with six strikeouts. He lowered his ERA to 3.49 but could not secure his career-high eighth win. Brandon Brennan was tagged for two runs, and Matt Hall gave up two runs after walking three in only 2/3 of an inning. 
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July 13, 2021 at 8:00 PM

2021 Draft Recap: How Boston's picks ranked


Of Boston's 20 selections in the 2021 Draft, 11 were ranked in the Baseball America Top 500, 10 in the Perfect Game Top 612, and seven in the MLB Pipeline Top 250 list. 12 Red Sox selections appeared on at least one of the lists.

See below for a listing of the 2021 Red Sox draftees who were ranked by BA, PG, or MLB.com. The full list of this year's draft selections can be found over at the SoxProspects.com Draft History page.

Round-Pick: Player, Position (Rank)

1-4: Marcelo Mayer, SS (BA: 2; MLB: 1; PG: 1) 
2-40: Jud Fabian, OF (BA: 27; MLB: 23; PG: 37) 
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at 7:00 PM

Welcome to the Draft Signing Period!


Now that the 2021 First-Year Player Draft is in the books, the signing period is upon us. This year's signing deadline is 5:00 pm ET on August 1, 2021. As most of our readers know, each team's spending on draft pick bonuses is capped. The bonus cap is determined by the number and placement of each team's selections. 


The bonus cap sets an aggregate limit for a team to spend on its selections in the first ten rounds, and also limits teams from spending over $125,000 on players taken after the 10th round (the excess on any late-round bonuses will count against the bonus pool). Boston's cap is $11,359,600 this year. If the club exceeds its pool: (1) by 0-5%, it will be charged a 75% tax on the excess; (2) by 5-10%, it will pay the same tax and will also lose its first-round pick next season; (3) by 10-15%, it will be charged a 100% tax on the excess and lose its first- and second-round picks next season; and (4) by more than 15%, 100% tax on the excess and lose its next two first-round picks.


These are obviously harsh penalties, making it highly unlikely that the Red Sox will go more than 5% over the pool limit in any year. However, the team has shown that it is willing to pay the requisite tax and go up to 5% over the cap, which would place the team's spending limit (not counting the first $125,000 given to any pick after the 10th round) at about $11,927,580. One other wrinkle to remember is that if Boston fails to sign any of its picks from the first 10 rounds, the team's pool will be reduced by the slot amount for the unsigned player's draft position. Here are the bonus slots for each of Boston's top picks:
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at 6:20 PM

Draft Day 3 Recap Part 2: Rounds 16-20


Thank you for following along with SoxProspects.com for our draft coverage. Here are brief overviews of the players Boston selected with picks 16 though 20:

16. BJ Vela, 2B, Reedley JC (Calif.)
Vela put up gaudy stats on the JuCo circuit, hitting .481/.560/.821 in 27 games. The .481 average paced the California Community College Athletic Association, where he also ranked third in RBI with 35 and fifth in home runs with seven.

17. Luis Guerrero, RHP, Chipola College
Like Vela, Guerrero starred on the JuCo circuit, playing for one of the most notable two-year programs in the country (followers of the draft will recall that Jay Groome was lined up to attend Chipola after his commitment to Vanderbilt fell through). The 6-foot righthander made 14 appearances, posting a 3.72 ERA and .198 batting average against. He struck out 95 in 58 innings while walking 34. Per Mike Rosenbaum at Prep Baseball Report, Guerrero's fastball runs 93 to 96, which he's been able to maintain deep into his starts. He complements that with an above-average splitter which is a "swing-and-miss offering at 82-84 mph that he throws with late vertical drop" and a curveball. 
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at 3:38 PM

Draft Day 3 Recap Part 1: Rounds 11-15


The third day of the draft has returned after a hiatus in the 2020 edition. However, instead of picks 11 through 40 as it was from 2012 through 2019, the draft has been shortened to 20 rounds. So instead of a mass of 30 selections coming through on Tuesday, the Red Sox made 10 picks. The team signed 17 of 30 day three picks in 2019.

Here are brief recaps of selections 11 through 15:

11. Niko Kavadas, 1B, Notre Dame
After going undrafted in the 2020 draft despite his status as a Top 200 prospect, Kavadas returned to South Bend where he continued to rake. The left-handed hitting slugger finished second in the nation with 22 home runs, setting the Notre Dame single season record. Overall on the year he hit fo a.302/.473/.767 slash line. Despite his senior status and first-base only profile, Kavadas was ranked the #158 prospect in the draft by Baseball America, #135 by MLB Pipeline, and #150 by Perfect Game USA. 
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