Photos/Courtesy of the Washington Nationals Baseball Club
WEYMOUTH, Mass. (August 29, 2022) -- The first of the Futures League’s three first-round draft picks over the last three years has seen his career rise to the Major League Baseball (MLB) ranks as Pittsfield Suns alum Cade Cavalli made his debut with the Washington Nationals on Friday, August 26.
A former two-way standout at the University of Oklahoma who wore the Suns uniform in 2017, Cavalli was just the second-ever Futures League alum to hear his name called with a first-round selection. He joined the Nationals as their No. 22 overall pick during a five-round draft in 2020.
Cavalli is the 11th-ever Futures League alum to reach the majors, but the fifth already in 2021.
Cavalli has made his mark in the professional ranks as a pitcher, rising through Washington’s organization quickly and becoming its No. 4 prospect and the No. 56 prospect in all of baseball according to MLB Pipeline.
In his MLB debut, Cavalli struck out six batters over 4.1 innings against the Cincinnati Reds.
Cavalli remains the second-highest pick in league history as Boston College’s own Sal Frelick was chosen 15th overall by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2021. Frelick is the lone player in league history with two Top Pro Prospect honors (2018 and 2020) to his name.
Westfield Starfires alum Reggie Crawford added to the first-round legacy back in July as the No. 30 overall pick of the San Francisco Giants. Cavalli was the second of four all-time league alumni who have been selected in the first round, dating back to Nashua Silver Knight graduate and Boston College Chris Shaw in 2015.
Cavalli was a two-way player and the Futures League’s No. 5-ranked prospect during his summer in Pittsfield, appearing in 16 games as an infielder and three as a pitcher. The Bixby, Okla., native recorded 13 hits, two doubles, a home run, nine RBI and nine runs scored for the Suns, while striking out three over 2.1 innings of one-hit ball from the mound.
Cavalli was a First Team All-Big 12 honoree as a utility player for the Sooners in 2019. The 6-foot-4 righty pitched 12 games as the team’s Friday night starter, going 5-3 with a 3.28 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 60.1 innings. He also posted a .319 average, five doubles, two triples, four homers and 17 RBI in 19 games as a hitter last spring.
After pitching for USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team last summer, Cavalli returned to his role at the top of the OU rotation in 2020 as the Big 12 Preseason Pitcher of the Year. He led the conference with 37 strikeouts in 23.2 innings.
The Futures League’s busy year of MLB call-ups began with former Torrington Titan shortstop Jeremy Pena cracking the Postseason-bound Houston Astros’ season-opening roster and starting lineup. June saw the arrival of former Pittsfield Suns pitcher Matt Gage to the Toronto Blue Jays and Pena’s fellow Titan infielder Matthew Batten debuting with the San Diego Padres.
Back on the mound, July 31 marked Brockton Rox product Jake Fishman’s first appearance as a Miami Marlin. He worked 2.1 innings of one-run relief against another National League East team, the New York Mets.
For the latest Futures League news and information throughout the year, visit thefuturesleague.com and follow the league’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.