Kevin Parada, Catcher, Georgia Tech
Parada is the name to watch right now for the Pittsburgh Pirates. This Front Office has made it known that they prefer college players early in the Draft. In fact, this dates back to when Ben Cherington and Steven Sanders were in Toronto. Parada would make it three straight college hitters selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first round.
Parada is a catcher, but his bat is what makes him a top prospect. The general belief is that Parada will be moved out from behind the plate, so you really are drafting the bat. Parada’s bat is what made him a Top 50 prospect in the 2020 Draft and he has done nothing but improve upon his stock since.
For the 2022 season, Parada has played in a career-high 60 games. He is batting .361/.453/.709 which gives him an OPS of nearly 1.200. The power is what has really taken a step forward for Parada. This year Parada has hit 26 home runs which gives him the 6th most in the 2022 NCAA Season.
If Ben Cherington and Steve Sanders continue using their Draft philosophy then Parada is likely the pick. He is a Draft-eligible sophomore so he could hold some leverage in negotiations. However, it would be very risky for him to pass up a chance at being a top 5 draft pick. Outside of Cal Poly shortstop Brooks Lee, Parada is the best college hitter in the Draft and would be a great addition.