With the 20th pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, the Milwaukee Brewers select Cade Cavalli, RHP, Oklahoma
Mock 2.0 Pick: Tyler Soderstrom, C
Mock 1.0 Pick: Carmen Mlodzinski, RHP
Three mock drafts, three different first round picks. For the Brewers first pick in our mock draft 3.0, we have them going back to the college pitching ranks, selecting Cade Cavalli out of Oklahoma, MLB Pipeline’s No. 22 overall draft prospect.
Cavalli is a part of the cluster of college right-handers that are projected to go starting in the early 20s of the first round. The Brewers find themselves in a good position to start that run on college arms and can grab whichever player they believe is best among that group.
There’s a lot to like about Cavalli, starting with his high upside as a frontline starter. Cavalli sits in the mid-90s with his fastball which has “analytically friendly traits“, with the ability to reach back and hit 98 MPH and has prototypical size at 6’4” and 226 pounds. There’s such little effort in that velocity that it gives him a very strong chance to stick in the rotation moving forward.
His four-pitch mix also includes a power curveball, a wicked slider, and a changeup that has potential.
There are some weaknesses in Cavalli’s game right now, though. His command of the strike zone needs improvement if he’s going to reach his frontline starter upside. Also, he’s dealt with injuries in the past. He had a back injury in high school and then missed a few weeks with a stress reaction in his throwing arm in 2019.
He greatly improved his draft stock this spring in just four starts, striking out 37 hitters in just 23.2 innings and walking only five.
Cavalli was originally a two way player for Oklahoma, playing first base a lot his freshman season. Since he’s turned his full attention to the mound, Cavalli has made great strides.
Because he didn’t turn his full attention to pitching until his sophomore season, he’s not as polished as other college pitchers, but the upside is ridiculously high.
Cavalli reminds me a lot of former Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson. Both are big, tall right handers that have very similar looking mechanics. They both pitch from a three-quarters arm slot, have easy velocity that sits in the mid-90s, and pitch arsenals that are practically the same, although Cavalli has a changeup instead of the sinker that Nelson used.
Both Cavalli and Nelson struggled with command at this stage in their career, and by fixing those command issues, they can be frontline starters. Nelson finally achieved that in 2017, and Cavalli made some progress in 2020, but still has a way to go. Provided Cavalli can stay healthy and keep improving his command, the sky’s the limit for him.
The Brewers could go a number of different ways with this pick, all of which are dependent on how the board falls through the first 19 selections. A high school bat like Pete Crow-Armstrong or Tyler Soderstrom could fall to them and make sense. A high school pitcher like Jared Kelley or Nick Bitsko could fall as well.