Washington Nationals: Welcome to D.C. Cade Cavalli

The pick is in and Cade Cavalli is the newest member of the Nats farm system.

The Nationals had the 22nd pick in the MLB draft and took RHP, Cade Cavalli from Oklahoma. This continues the teams recent first-round draft trend. Seven times in the last nine years, the Nationals have taken a pitcher in the first round including the last four years in a row.

Cavalli was the 22nd ranked prospect by MLB.com and will join Jackson Rutledge, Mason Denaburg, and Seth Romero who were the team’s most recent first-round picks.

In his three seasons at Oklahoma, Cavalli went 8-7, with a 4.09 ERA, and 114 strikeouts. What stands out is that he only threw 101.1 innings over his three seasons with the Sooners. This was due to missing time because of a stress reaction to his arm.

He started as a two-way player, playing first base his freshman year. His sophomore year he started focusing more on pitching and this year he started to take the next step. He was working on his control, lowering his walks immensely. In 23.2 innings this season, he walked five batters compared to his 35 walks last season in 60.1 innings.

According to MLB Pipeline,

“Cavalli produces some of the easiest velocity in his Draft class, working at 92-96 mph and topping out at 98 with riding action while expending barely more effort than he would playing catch. He also can make hitters look bad with a low-80s curveball with power and depth, and he has developed an upper-80s slider/cutter that is catching up to his curve. He shows the potential for an average changeup once he starts using the pitch more often. While Cavalli has the upside of a frontline starter, he comes with concerns. Though he has a strong 6-foot-4 frame and clean mechanics, he doesn’t have much track record of staying healthy or throwing strikes. His lack of command and deception also means that his premium stuff gets hit harder than it should.”

If he can shake off his previous injuries and build on his college success, the Nats will have received a player with tremendous upside.

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