Keoni Cavaco, a California prep third baseman, first received attention from professional scouts at the Angels Elite showcase in the fall at Angel Stadium of Anaheim, he said.
Although he’s had to adjust to scouts observing him, he hasn’t let the pressure affect him. He’s had a notable senior season at Eastlake High in Chula Vista, California to raise his stock for the MLB draft.
Cavaco has quickly risen up draft boards this spring. He’s developed into one of the top prospects in this year’s class and could be an early-round pick in June’s draft.
“It’s been a dream come true knowing I might get the opportunity to start playing pro ball at a young age,” Cavaco said. “I’ve been dreaming all my life. It’s been a fun road, and it’s going to get more and more fun as it goes on.”
A pop-up prospect this spring, Cavaco is hitting .400 with five home runs. He credits his growth at the plate to his dedication in the weight room. He added about 15 pounds of muscle this offseason, he said.
“I don’t think I’ve really developed much other than my body,” said Cavaco on his growth from his junior year. “I’ve matured a lot more in the game. I learned a lot in the summer playing with guys better than me. Doing that really helped me and my game.”
The 6-foot, 185-pound right-handed hitter has above-average raw power from an upright stance.
The biggest question mark regarding his approach is his ability to make consistent contact. He has some swing and miss in his game but hopes to refine his approach over the next month in preparation for pro ball, he said.
His ability at the plate is his biggest strength in his game.
“My hitting has developed so much since sophomore year,” Cavaco said. “I’ve become a better hitter overall. It’s been taking me a long ways throughout my career.”
Cavaco has played multiple positions throughout his high school career. Scouts envision him as a third baseman in the pro ranks, though. He has above-average arm strength and speed. He also has the hands and footwork to play the position.
Although he likely will embark on a pro career this summer, Cavaco is a San Diego State commit. The allure of playing close to home with players he’s familiar drew him to the program, he said.
“I’m a big family guy and most of my family is in San Diego,” Cavaco said. “Every game I have, they are there. It’s another three years they can see me play.”
Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for four years. He’s interviewed 133 of the top draft prospects in that period, including three No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today 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.