Red Sox prospect Niko Kavadas putting together an all-around season
Niko Kavadas was selected in the 11th-round of the 2021 MLB amateur draft by the Boston Red Sox. He was seen as basically a strictly lefty power bat. There’s a ton of home run potential, but the rest of the game was lacking.
Kavadas wasn’t going to give you anything in the speed department and had a better chance of being a designated hitter who could play first if needed, more than a full-time first baseman.
He’s trying to change that perception in 2022.
Kavadas will likely never be a Gold Glove defender at first base. However, he’s proving that he can hold his own there. In 291 innings at first in Low-A this season, he has two errors and he’s made quite a few great picks and plays.
And okay, speed is never going to be a part of his game. But there are still some interesting stats to bring up. For example, Kavadas has yet to ground into a double play this season (heading into June 9 and, let’s be honest, I probably just jinxed this).
That shows how good he’s been with the bat. Kavadas is selective when it comes to which pitches he’ll swing at and he’s great at getting the ball in the air. Having a bigger guy and a power bat, you sort of accept that the GIDPs are going to come with the territory. And it’s all forgiven because they drive in runs and hit bombs. But Kavadas has found a way to eliminate the negative, while keeping the positive.
That shines through in his stats too. The left-handed hitter is slashing .260/.425/.500 with 14 doubles, one triple, and seven home runs. He’s driven in 29 runs, scored 20 more, and stolen one base.
Kavadas has shown incredibly maturity and patience at the plate, which has led to a ridiculous 39 walks in his first 200 plate appearances. This also keeps him productive at the plate, something he’s had no issue with in the month of June.
So far in June, Kavadas is slashing .348/.464/.783 with one double and three home runs. The Notre Dame product has a hit in six-of-seven games and in the one hitless game he still reached base thanks to a walk.
The one thing eluding Kavadas for a while was the home run. He was hitting plenty of doubles, producing good plate appearances, and hitting the ball hard. But the homers weren’t coming.
What was so impressive was that Kavadas never panicked. He didn’t switch up his approach or start to swing earlier in counts. Instead, he continued to be patient. Now the home runs are starting to flow and his OBP keeps rising.
The Boston Red Sox minor league system is filled to the brim with offensive talent. Kavadas is only 258-career plate appearances in to his career. But he already might be one of the most mature bats in the system. With everything coming together offensively (and even some flashes of a solid defender being thrown in there), Niko Kavadas could quickly make a name for himself.