In the 2019 MLB Draft, the Minnesota Twins selected Keoni Cavaco with the 13th pick. We look at Cavaco’s first year in the Twins organization one year later.
After finishing his senior season at Eastlake High School in California with a .433 batting average, 13 doubles, eight home runs, 33 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases, the Minnesota Twins again selected a high school bat in the first round of the draft.
During his senior year, Cavaco racked up the accolades, including MaxPreps California Player of the Year, California High School Sports Player of the Year, and he was ranked the number one High School player in the state of California according to Perfect Game.
Although Cavaco was committed to San Diego State, Keoni agreed to the four-million-dollar contract with Twins and reported to the Florida State League shortly after graduating. And although Minnesota Twins fans may know the name, do they know how he fared in his first professional season?
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Keoni played his first professional game on June 24th of last year at Pirate City in Bradenton Florida against the FSL Pirates. In that game he collected his first hit, going 1-4, and scoring his first professional run.
On July 3rd, Keoni recorded his first professional extra base hit, knocking two doubles in Orlando Florida against the GCL Braves. It would be just over a month later, August 7th to be exact, when Cavaco hit his first, and only home run of the season in Sarasota, Florida against the GCL Orioles.
Overall, Keoni had 87 at bats over his 25 games played with the GCL Twins. In those 87 AB’s, Keoni only had 15 hits, leading to a .172 average. He also only walked four times, which saw his on base percentage finish the season at .217.
The alarming stat for Cavaco was his strikeout rate. 40% of Keoni’s at bats ending with a strike out, 35 of 87, and he had over double the amount of strikeouts than hits.
In the field, Cavaco made only two errors in the 61 total chances he had last season.
All in all, Cavaco struggled mightily in his first professional season, but there should be no need to panic. Coming freshly out of high school, moving across the country, and changing your entire lifestyle would be extremely difficult.
Keoni celebrated his 19th birthday just seven days ago and he still has tons of baseball ahead of him. Although not having a minor league season will be tough on Cavaco, there should be no reason to be worried about him, yet.
It has to be mentioned that the Minnesota Twins don’t have the best track record in selecting High School players in the first round over the last decade.
In 2013, the Minnesota Twins selected Kohl Stewart, right handed pitcher out of St. Pius X High School in Texas with the 4th overall pick. At the time of the pick Clint Frazier, Austin Meadows, Dominic Smith, and most notably, Aaron Judge were still on the board.
In 2014, the Minnesota Twins selected Nick Gordon out of Olympia High School with the 5th pick overall pick. At the time of the pick Aaron Nola, Michael Conforto, Trea Turner, and Matt Chapman were still on the board.
In 2017, the Minnesota Twins selected Royce Lewis out of JSerra Catholic High School with the 1st overall pick. And although it is too early to write off Lewis, players like Brendan McKay, Kyle Wright, Adam Haseley, and Keston Hiura were picked shortly after Lewis, and have all made an impact in the majors already.
In a draft loaded with College Baseball talent, it will be interesting to see what direction the Minnesota Twins will go with the 27th overall pick. Be sure to watch the 2020 MLB Draft tomorrow night at 7:00 PM EST on ESPN or MLB Network to see who the Minnesota Twins select!