Senior signees are strange to me. A senior sign is usually a player drafted out of college in his senior year and is taken in earlier rounds to give the team more bonus pool space to spend over slot in the draft later. Often times the player turns into an organizational player (non-prospect), but there are a few guys that actually turn into something more. Kaczmarski may be one of those that could be something more. The guy can hit.
L/R, 5’11” 195 lbs, 12/31/1991 (25), Drafted in the 9th round of the 2015 draft out of the University of Evansville. Signed for $5,000
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Kevin Kaczmarski was just a hitting beast at Evansville. In his redshirt-senior year (known as a 5th year in college, fourth year playing college ball and missed his freshman year due to a broken foot), he hit .465/.543/.746 in 46 games while hitting 33 extra base hits. With the .465 batting average, he won the overall NCAA batting title for that year. He signed with the Mets on June 23rd and was assigned to Advanced Rookie League Kingsport.
In Kingsport, he predictably dominated the league hitting .355/.415/.512 in 64 games with 18 doubles, 5 triples, and four homers and stealing 20 bases. Kaczmarski led the league in batting average, beating out teammate Patrick Mazeika by one point. Honestly, I don’t know what the Mets were thinking, sending him to rookie league, they knew he was going to dominate it…
The next year he struggled slightly in Columbia in his first 69 games, hitting .268/.347/.418, but hit for a solid amount of power with 28 extra base hits, and was promoted to St. Lucie where hit hit .301/.383/.405 and hit for a bit less power in 42 games. During the year, he hit 29 doubles, 10 triples, and two homers.
Defensively, Kaczmarski can play all three positions, but would be most comfortable in a corner. With average speed, and a below-average arm, it seems you may be most comfortable watching him in Left Field, but he can play center and right in a pinch, just not regularly.
I don’t believe Kaczmarski will be a starter at the highest level. While he has proven he can hit, he has a profile of a tweener. He can hit, and can draw a walk for sure but his most likely designated position of left field needs more on the offensive side to justify a starting position, most commonly power. Kaczmarski is more of a gap-to-gap hitter, possibly usurping 10 homers in a career-high season, but more likely hitting doubles and triples. This may designate him to a ceiling of a fourth outfielder, bench-type.
For now, he’ll be starting left field for the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies.
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