Trent Caraway is the latest high-end prospect from JSerra Catholic (Calif.) High School. The high school program has consistently developed talent for the college and professional ranks, notably nine-year MLB catcher Austin Hedges and 2017 MLB draft first overall pick Royce Lewis.
This year, Caraway is one of the top players in the prep class. Scouts rave about the infielder’s well-balanced toolset, especially his offensive skills, and consider him a likely early-round pick in July’s draft.
Playing at a quality program with a strong player-development system like JSerra has helped Caraway deal with the professional attention and prepare for either NCAA Division I baseball or the pro ranks after graduation.
“I feel like I have done a pretty good job of it,” Caraway said. “Scouts will come to my games, and I think it’s pretty fun. I’m just playing high school baseball. I get to do it with my friends and just enjoy high school. I really haven’t thought about the add-ons with the scouts. I’ve just let it play out.”
Caraway is a 6-foot-2, 200-pound right-handed hitting shortstop/third baseman known for his offensive tools. He squares up the baseball consistently, including against premium velocity, and boasts above-average power potential. He uses simple mechanics at the plate, displaying a toe tap and smooth weight transfer, and drives the ball to all fields.
While he has a solid all-around toolset, including quality makeup, his offensive skills will be his calling card moving forward.
“My hit tool is my biggest strength,” Caraway said. “Overall, it helps how athletic I am for how big I am. I move well and can pretty much play anywhere on the field. I can run and have a good arm.”
Defensively, Caraway has experience playing shortstop, third base and outfield. He played third base primarily last summer, and most scouts believe he profiles best at that position due to his size.
Caraway possesses above-average arm strength. He also is a respectable athlete. He is comfortable playing other positions but hopes to play shortstop in the future.
“I feel good in my body,” Caraway said. “I’m athletic and feel comfortable staying there.”
Besides his status as a top draft prospect, Caraway is an Oregon State commit. He verbally committed right before his sophomore year in August 2020.
Oregon State is consistently one of the top programs in college baseball. Coach Mitch Canham has maintained the program’s high standards in his four years at the helm after taking over for Pat Bailey in 2019. Bailey served as the interim head coach in 2019 after the retirement of legendary coach Pat Casey, who led the program to three national titles in six trips to the College World Series in his 24 years.
Caraway’s relationship with Canham and the program’s assistant coaches was a large reason for his commitment. The program’s track record of success, player development and fan support also factored in his decision.
“The passion people have for the game up there is different,” Caraway said. “The fans are there for you no matter what. They have a winning atmosphere and recruit the right guys.”
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Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for eight years. He has interviewed 433 of the top draft prospects in that period, including four No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com, The Arizona Republic and The Dallas Morning News, have quoted his work, while he has appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.