Image credit: Camden Kozeal (Photo by Bill Mitchell)
With one of the most advanced pure hit tools of any incoming freshman in the country, Camden Kozeal is poised for an impactful first season. After being named the Nebraska Baseball Gatorade Player of the Year following his junior season, Kozeal enjoyed a standout summer that was headlined by an excellent showing with Team USA that ended with him earning a roster spot on the 18U national team.
He carried the momentum he built over the summer into his senior spring season and hit an impressive .433 with 20 extra-base hits and 33 RBIs. Kozeal was again named the Nebraska Baseball Gatorade Player of the Year and had established himself as a potential top five–round draft pick. Even though there was plenty of opportunity for Kozeal to begin his professional career, he ultimately decided to honor his commitment to the Commodores.
Plenty Of Physicality
At 5-foot-10 and 180-pounds, Kozeal has plenty of physicality in his compact frame with a thick lower half and strong upper body. He has a simple setup in the box with a slightly open front side and normal handset. Kozeal utilizes a toe tap and has a minimal load. He has a short, quick swing and takes a direct path to contact. There is plenty of bat speed present and his barrel skills are outstanding.
Kozeal’s hit tool is the best part of his game. On top of his feel for the barrel, Kozeal’s pitch recognition skills are extremely polished and his bat-to-ball skills are excellent. He does a nice job of letting the ball travel and has shown the ability to spray line drives all over the yard. Kozeal also has some sneaky thump in his stick and can drive the baseball into either gap.
In the field, Kozeal is a sound defender with strong instincts. He is an above-average athlete with quick feet and an average arm. Although he held his own at shortstop in high school, his actions and arm strength profile best at second base.
Kozeal this fall has shown well for Coach Tim Corbin, most notably lacing an RBI single in a scrimmage against Wake Forest. The vast majority of his defensive reps have come at second base, and he could eventually play his way into an everyday role.
Potential top two–round pick Jonathan Vastine (.287/.355/.448) will anchor shortstop and while Davis Diaz (.263/.376/.415) is a strong candidate to start at second base, Coach Corbin could opt to stick with Diaz at the hot corner. Sophomore RJ Austin (.257/.351/.390) seems destined for a spot in the outfield, so Kozeal is squarely in the mix to be in the starting lineup come opening day.
Looking ahead, Kozeal has signed to play this summer for the Bourne Braves of the Cape Cod Baseball League. He will log plenty of at-bats, and showing well will go a long way towards establishing himself as a premier 2026 draft prospect. Kozeal is on track to be a prominent piece of the Vanderbilt lineup for the next three years and will look to cement himself as an eventual day one draft choice.