Cameron Cauley has had the luxury of growing up with a father who has experience in the game of baseball. Cauley’s father, Chris, pitched collegiately at Texas Christian University before playing three years in the Chicago White Sox’s minor-league system from 1987 to 1989.
Cauley also has played for his father at Barbers Hill High School in Belvieu, Texas. His father is an assistant coach, and his experience around the game has aided Cauley’s development into a well-regarded prospect for the 2021 MLB draft class.
“With him just being a coach, some people would say it’s stressful for me, but I don’t really think so,” Cauley said. “When we are playing baseball, I don’t see him as my dad. I see him as my coach. He’s been a big, big part of my success. He works with me, believes in me, pushes me, and I just love everything he’s done for me.
“He has helped me with the draft process. He knows what goes into it. He helps me calm down and tells me not to let this get too big and play my game.”
After a successful summer playing against elite high school talent, Cauley is garnering interest from professional scouts. Cauley didn’t receive pro attention before the summer began but is eager to see how the next nine months play out.
Pro scouts currently project Cauley as a potential top five-round pick in July’s draft. Cauley also is a Texas Tech commit. He has two viable and attractive options in front of him. Cauley isn’t getting ahead of himself, though, and is remaining humble and trusting in God throughout the process, he said.
“Before this summer, I didn’t really get any attention from scouts,” Cauley said. “Everyone knew I was a pretty good ballplayer. But even myself, I was just focused on college ball. When the summer came around, and all the scouts started to text me and call me, I knew something was a little different. I’ve loved every bit of it. It’s been fun. It was a little shocking at first.”
Cauley is a 5-foot-11, 171-pound middle infielder who is athletic and shows intriguing potential on both sides of the ball. His top skill is his speed, which he uses to impact the game on the base pads and defensively. According to Perfect Game, he has recorded a 6.48 60-yard dash and a time of 4.21 seconds from home plate to first base.
Offensively, the right-handed hitter has a short compact swing. He has a simple approach and fast hands, which allows him to drive the ball. He also shows power potential.
“I really think I have a lot of strength, but my speed is up there,” Cauley said. “I really worked on my speed, and I think that’s a game-changing aspect of my game. Having speed always causes the pitcher to be worried about you when you’re on the bases.
“Besides speed, I’d say my glove also is a strength of mine. My hitting is really good, and people say it’s my best tool besides my running. I think my defense is a strength. I can play multiple positions and make a lot of plays.”
Cauley currently plays shortstop for his high school team. Besides his athleticism, Cauley has solid arm strength, aggressiveness, and smooth defensive actions. He believes he can stick at shortstop long-term.
“I really think I can play shortstop,” Cauley said. “I play shortstop, and I think I have all the tools to play shortstop. I am a team player, and if the coach needs me to play second, I will play second. I see myself long-term in the middle infield.”
Cauley did not go out for football this fall after tallying 50 receptions for 988 yards and 16 touchdowns as a junior in 2019. He is focusing on prepping for the baseball season instead. He plans on dedicating significant time to adding strength to his frame and improve his skills.
He is working with Josh Reidt, who has trained elite baseball players for over 15 years in California. The relationship initially started when Reidt messaged Cauley on social media and now consists of Reidt sending Cauley training programs and the two communicating regularly, Cauley said.
“I have put on a lot of solid muscle since my sophomore year,” Cauley said. “I was maybe 140 pounds my sophomore year, and now I am up to 171 right now. It has helped my game. I trust him, and his workouts mainly consist of explosive stuff to help me be more explosive and overall with my strength and power. I think Josh Reidt will get me right, and that’s really all I need to do to get my strength side up.”
Cauley has confidence going into his senior season after his successful summer competing in the Perfect Game National Showcase, Area Code Games and WWBA World Championship, he said.
He hopes his summer success can carry over into his senior year as he tries to lead his team to a Texas high school state championship while also enhancing his draft status.
“I want to win state,” Cauley said. “That has always been a goal for me. I have come close all throughout my career. In my freshman year, we made it to round four, sophomore year, we made it to round three, and junior year, we had a really good team. I want to win state as a team, and my personal goal is to have fun. I know the stats will come. I just want to play hard and stay inside myself.”
Read more in-depth stories on top 2021 MLB draft prospects here.
Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for six years. He’s interviewed 253 of the top draft prospects in that period, including three No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com and The Arizona Republic, have quoted his work, while he’s appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.