Notre Dame’s Niko Kavadas Picked By Boston Red Sox In Round 11 Of MLB Draft
Less than 24 hours after former Notre Dame slugger Trey Mancini took second place in the MLB Home Run Derby, a more recent Irish home-run hitter was selected in the 2021 MLB Draft.
The Boston Red Sox picked Notre Dame first baseman Niko Kavadas with the No. 316 overall pick in the 11th round. At 6-1 and 235 pounds, Kavadas has the tools to follow in the footsteps of the 6-3, 230-pound Baltimore Orioles first baseman.
“We were lucky enough to be on a phone call with Trey last offseason,” Kavadas told BlueandGold.com. "We got to pick his brain and find out what made him successful in college and how he was able to make that jump and continue to be successful in the pros.
“Any time someone is willing to speak to you like that, you don't take it for granted and you can learn so much. I'm really thankful for the encounters I've had with Trey.”
Many thought Kavadas would hear his name much sooner. He went into the draft as MLB.com’s No. 135 overall prospect. If Kavadas is not happy with what he's offered to sign for, he's eligible to return to Notre Dame for one more season.
He didn’t rule that possibility out with BlueandGold.com in an interview last week.
“Notre Dame is such a special place for me,” Kavadas said. “I would love to be able to come back and play a fifth year here and play for such a competitive program. If the right opportunity doesn’t present itself, it’s unbelievable I have the chance to come back and compete for a national championship with this brotherhood that we’ve developed over the last four years.”
Kavadas is still more than capable of writing his own success story. He earned first-team All-America nods from three outlets and was the first Notre Dame player to accomplish that feat since Steve Stanley in 2002.
Kavadas set the Notre Dame single-season home run record with 22. He hit .302 and was a major reason the Irish came within one win of reaching the College World Series for the first time in 19 years. Notre Dame lost its Super Regional series in three games to eventual national champion Mississippi State.
A Mishawaka (Ind.) Penn High School graduate, Kavadas played prep ball a mere 15-minute drive from Notre Dame’s Frank Eck Stadium. It became a goal of his rather early to wear the golden helmet and represent the school that stood so close to his family home. He ultimately repped it as well as any Irish player who came before him.
Now Kavadas is in the early stages of realizing another goal, one thousands of baseball players across the country have but far fewer are able to obtain: being a Major League Baseball player.
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