Following eight consecutive collegiate picks during Saturday’s Day 3 of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft, the St. Louis Cardinals scouting department navigated for a high-upside selection from the prep ranks, using its 21st round pick (646th overall) on a premium athlete in Cade Cabbiness from Bixby High School in the Sooner State.
While Cabbiness was a late bloomer on the diamond, he excelled as a wide receiver on the gridiron leading Bixby's football team to back-to-back state titles. The multi-sport athlete comes from a strong athletic bloodline with his father Chris having played football at Oklahoma in the 1980s.
Over this past January, Cabbiness made his break for exposure in a showcase in Owasso, Oklahoma in front of a large crowd of amateur scouts. His athletic abilities materialized to the tune of a .472 average with six homers and 36 RBI this spring, guiding his high school team to a 29-9 record and a runner-up finish in regional play.
Speaking of attention, Baseball America tabbed Cabbiness as the sixth-best Oklahoma prospect and 366th nationally. They laud him for his combination of athleticism, strength, and physicality. At a listed 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, he certainly looks the part. However, Cabbiness will have to refine his swing and pitch recognition to reach his ceiling of a legit power hitter in right field.
Cabbiness has signed with Seminole State Junior College and is still mulling options to accept one of four Division I offers from Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oral Roberts and Kansas State. Now, the outfielder is also weighing an opportunity to play professionally with the Cardinals.
In this exclusive interview, Cabbiness talks about being a multi-sport athlete, his game, and the moment he found out he was drafted.
Derek Shore: When did you get into baseball and realize it was a passion?
Cade Cabbiness: I first started playing when I was three years old, and when I reached sixth grade and started playing at a high level I realized how much I loved the game and wanted to take it and my abilities as far as I could.
DS: Do you have a favorite player you look up to and model your game after? Favorite team?
CC: I love Mike Trout. He plays the game hard and is an exciting player to watch. I'd have to say the Cardinals are my favorite team.
DS: You are a very prominent prep multi-sport athlete in the state of Oklahoma. How important has it been for you to play multiple sports?
CC: It's been very important to me. I love to compete, and playing multiple sports allows me to compete almost year round.
DS: Has baseball always been a higher priority sport than football to you?
CC: Not until last year. I had a "break out" as some would call it. At that point, I realized baseball was a sport I could continue to play.
DS: There are quite a few scouting reports written about you on the web, but how would you self-evaluate your game in a scouting report?
CC: I would say that I have a good arm, a great bat, and I'm a great fielder as well. Not the fastest but I make up for it with my reads on balls and the routes I take.
DS: Prior to the draft, did the Cardinals show the most interest in you and did you have any idea of where you be selected in the draft?
CC: "Yes, the Cardinals did show interest in me throughout the process along with many other teams. But, I did not know when I would be selected."
DS: What was that moment like when you found out the Cardinals had drafted you?
CC: "The greatest feeling I've ever experienced. A dream come true."
DS: How much of a priority is it to go pro and sign with the Cardinals?
CC: "I would love to, but for me to pass up my college career it would have to be a decent amount of money for me to sign."
DS: What has been memorable for you in your career thus far?
CC: All the relationships I have formed through baseball whether it be through teammates to coaches or anyone that has been involved.
Read The Cardinal Nation’s assessment of Cabbiness and the other 41 selections the Cardinals made in the 2016 First-Year Player Draft here.
Follow Derek Shore on Twitter @D_Shore23.
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