Loyola High School in California features a well-known quantity in this year’s MLB Draft. Kevin Parada is a right-handed-hitting catcher that scouts feel can blossom into a well-rounded player. MLB.com ranks him as the 48th-best prospect in baseball, and he should be a mid-to-late second round pick. He is six feet tall and weighs 200 pounds.
One of the many accolades on Parada’s list is his MVP award in Perfect Game’s WWBA World Championships in 2018. He followed that with a strong performance on the showcase circuit in 2019, one that really put him on the map as a prospect. This led to his invitation to play in the Prospect Development Pipeline League and the Perfect Game All-American Classic.
Parada will play at Georgia Tech University if he does not agree to terms with the team that drafts him. Some of his highlights, both offensively and defensively, can be found below.
Kevin Parada brings the total package to the plate. His pure hitting ability is better than his power, but not by much as scouts grade the tools 55/80 and 50/80 respectively. He generates bat speed and barrel whip from an open stance that allows him to fire his hips.
His swing also has lift to it, which helps him launch the ball. He does not strike out too much, and he is content with going the other way in order to put the ball in play. Ironically, his swing tends to generate more pull power than opposite field power at this time, but scouts feel he can become someone who drives the ball to all fields. He has plenty of power to tap in to.
One of Parada’s best assets is his arm. His athleticism helps him get good pop times when throwing the ball to second base with accuracy and a quick release. That should make his ability to control the running game one of his biggest strengths.
Despite the good arm, the rest of Parada’s defensive abilities are described as adequate. His mechanics are compact and he stays low to the ground, but he does appear stiff at times.
Scouts feel that he can stay behind the plate long term, but his athleticism allows him to play other positions if teams want to move him. For example, he played some outfield during his showcases with Perfect Game, and he was listed as both a catcher and outfielder last summer.
Parada is also not the most fleet of foot, but he does run well for his position.
Ramos’s defensive profile matches Parada’s as an average defender that can throw runners out. Parada may have a better arm than Ramos, but Ramos has thrown out a higher percentage of base runners compared to the league average since he debuted.
They also profile similarly as hitters. Ramos has a better pure hitting ability, hitting over .300 in two of the last four seasons. Additionally, he does not strike out a ton and can take the ball to the opposite field. He has power that he can tap into, as well, and he averages 14 home runs and 15 doubles per season in 376 plate appearances since 2011. This all matches Parada’s approach at the plate.
The team that drafts Kevin Parada will get a bat that can play at the next level. His arm and athleticism warrants him developing as a catcher, but they will also help him should he make a position change in the long term.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images