MLB Draft Profile: Kevin Parada

MLB Draft Profile: Kevin Parada

by May 16, 2022 2 comments

Georgia Tech has had some success developing catchers. They boast a few first-round selections at the position over the years like Jason Varitek (1994), Matt Wieters (2007), and Joey Bart (2018). Kevin Parada will join them in July as he could be the first catcher off the board. Let’s take a look at if he has what it takes to continue a solid tradition for the Yellow Jackets.

Make sure to check out all of our other MLB Draft Profiles.

Kevin Parada, Catcher, Georgia Tech

Height: 6’1″
Weight: 195 lbs.
DOB: 08/03/2001
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
2021 Stats: 52 G, .318/.379/.550, 9 HR, 42 R, 42 RBI, 17 BB, 41 K
2022 Stats: 49 G, .363/.452/.741, 23 HR, 62 R, 74 RBI, 25 BB, 24 K

Scouting Grades

Hit: 60
Power: 60
Run: 45
Arm: 45
Field: 50

Parada could easily go top 10 in this year’s draft. As you can see from the stats above, the Georgia Tech backstop has always had the ability to hit. However, this season he turned it up a notch. His plate discipline improved and drives, that were doubles in 2021, started going over the fence in 2022. Parada is still only 20 and may add another 10-15 pounds of muscle over the next year or two.

As you will see in the video below, he has an odd set up with the bat on his shoulder pointing toward the ground. Combine that with the closed stance and it doesn’t seem like this unorthodox approach would work.

Strengths

Despite the unique stance, Parada explodes through the zone. He recognizes pitches early and has a knack of laying back on offspeed offerings (he blasted the third-pitch curveball in the video). He keeps his weight back and as he closes up and brings his hands back, he can rip the bat through the zone at the right moment. Parada barrels the ball well thanks to that ability and can drive it all over the field.

Parada can move fairly well for a catcher. While he isn’t going to run wild on the basepaths, he did have seven swipes this season. The right-handed slugger gets high marks for his work ethic and demeanor. It is certainly his bat that stands out above everything else.

Weaknesses

Defensively, Parada has struggled a bit, but has improved his receiving. His arm is average, but if the Yellow Jacket can improve his footwork and release, which he has done after he threw out just 12 percent as a freshman, then he could be fine. Head Coach Danny Hall typically will let his catcher start calling games a year before they enter the draft. Varitek, Wieters, and Bart all worked with the staff and called their games.

Calling the game and moving better behind the plate will be the key to Parada staying there as he moves up. Some scouts don’t believe he will stick and project him at first base. He may wind up there eventually, but Parada has the chance to improve and be at least an average defensive catcher.

Pro Comparison: Joey Bart

This may seem too easy to compare Parada to Georgia Tech’s first-round catcher from four years ago. I scouted Bart back in 2018, and the report is oddly similar. There were questions about him sticking behind the plate back then and even now Bart isn’t great defensively. Parada may be an even better hitter at this point with slightly better discipline and more power.

Draft Prediction: Miami Marlins, Round 1, Pick 6

Although the Chicago Cubs are probably hoping Parada falls to them, the Marlins snipe them. While Miami drafted Joe Mack last year, he is still just out of High School and had a total of 19 unproductive games in his first taste of professional baseball. Even if they think Mack is a better long-term answer at catcher, taking Parada here can’t hurt, and the Marlins get an advanced bat who could contribute as soon as 2024.


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Main Image Credit: https://ramblinwreck.com/five-jackets-named-to-academic-all-acc-team-2/

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