Major League Baseball is going through mighty struggles in trying to get their season to start as negotiations between MLB owners and the MLBPA have gone basically nowhere in the last month and change.
But, that did not stop MLB from having its annual June draft, albeit a shortened 5-round version, which got underway tonight.
All eyes from an OU perspective coming into the draft were squarely on starting pitcher Cade Cavalli, and he has found his new home, as he was selected 22nd overall by the Washington Nationals.
Cavalli has had first round buzz on him for a number of time now. After beginning his OU career focusing more on being a position player, Cade starting pitching regularly his sophomore season and went to it full time this season.
He was the bonafide ace of the team, frequently able to hit 90’s with his heater which made the scouts at L Dale Mitchell Park blush.
His breaking pitches were quite sharp as well, as it is no coincidence that he was able to rack up a gaudy 37 strikeouts in the 23 2/3 innings he was able to get in before the season was abruptly canceled.
MLB teams see Cavalli as someone who is easily dripping with potential and with some more fine-tuning can without a doubt be a big league starter in the near future.
The Nationals have the 29th-ranked farm system in MLB, with no pitchers ranked inside the top 100 prospects in baseball. So, the defending world champions may be set up for the present – but Cavalli can be looked at as among the next regime in DC.
Eyes now turn to fellow starters Levi Prater and Dane Acker to see if A) they get drafted or if B) they elect to sign with a team once the draft is up.
I expect they will not be selected and will likely return to Norman…but you can never be so sure. This year, with the lack of college and high school baseball seasons, teams are expected to go more college heavy with their picks.
So, it’s possible they could get snagged – but if they don’t it would be quite surprising to see them sign for such a low amount ($20,000) when they can return to OU and definitely be drafted at a much higher value a year from now.
While Cavalli could be the only Sooner taken in the abbreviated draft, several high school players who are committed to OU will likely be selected before the five rounds are up, so stay plugged into The Franchise (@FranchiseOK) on Twitter as well as myself (@JoshCallaway714) for the latest updates on who gets taken where – and if they will be pursuing that opportunity in lieu of heading to Norman for the 2021 season.