Image credit: (Photo by Bill Mitchell)
Following a record-breaking senior season at California power JSerra Catholic (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.), Trent Caraway had significant top-three round chatter heading into the draft.
Caraway this spring hit .462 and crushed seven home runs, 11 doubles, and drove in 20. Most impressively, Caraway broke former No. 1 overall pick Royce Lewis’ single-season hits record with 49. He dominated tough competition all spring and was a key reason as to why JSerra was able to repeat as CIF Division 1 South champions. There were many suitors for the physical third baseman early in the draft, but ultimately Caraway decided to honor his commitment to Oregon State.
Caraway heads to Corvallis as perhaps the most polished incoming freshman hitter. He boasts a lengthy track record of performance at the most notable events on the prep circuit, including a .417/.462/.667 slash line at the 2022 Area Code Games. Having turned 19 in March, Caraway is more of a finished product in terms of projection than most freshmen. His 6-foot-2, 205-pound frame oozes physicality with a thick lower half and serious forearm strength.
The best part of Caraway’s game is his offensive prowess. He hammers the baseball to all fields with most of his power coming to the pull side and has an advanced approach. Caraway has loose hands and big time bat speed, a combination that makes for an extremely rhythmic swing. He utilizes a toe tap and consistently generates plenty of torque in his lower half. Caraway has shown the unique ability to hit for both average and power, a trend that projects to continue throughout his collegiate and professional careers.
Caraway’s biggest question mark is his defensive future. While he has an above-average arm at third, he might end up at first base long term due to his limited range at the hot corner. Although a right-right first baseman isn’t the flashiest of profiles, Caraway’s ability with the bat could make up for any positional concerns.
Whether it’s at third base, first, or even designated hitter, Caraway figures to be a stalwart this spring in the Beavers’ lineup. There are holes at each corner infield spot following the departures of third baseman Mikey Kane (17th round, Chicago White Sox) and on-base machine Garret Forrester (3rd round, Pittsburgh Pirates). With the middle of the infield set with Washington State transfer Elijah Hainline (.337/.441/.615) and Travis Bazzana (.374/.500/.622), there will be a competition at the corners. Coach Canham could opt to slide junior Mason Guerra (.326/.414/.573) to third, which is where he played most of his games this summer, or let Caraway take the reins.
Due to his age, Caraway will be draft eligible following the 2025 season. Should he put together a strong couple of seasons in addition to a summer season that is likely to be spent in the Cape Cod League, Caraway again will be squarely in the day one discussion. Caraway this spring has the potential to take home Pac-12 freshman of the year honors and has freshman All-American upside.