With the 399th overall pick in the 2022 MLB first-year player draft, the Red Sox selected Milton (Wisc.) High School shortstop Gavin Kilen.
Kilen, 18, is regarded by Baseball America as the 149th-ranked prospect in this year’s draft class. The Badger State native is currently committed to play college baseball at the University of Louisville. He batted .459 with nine doubles, four triples, and two home runs, 16 RBIs, and 33 runs scored as a high school senior.
Per his Baseball America scouting report, Kilen “possesses a compact left-handed swing with good balance in his lower half. His exceptional bat-to-ball skills allow him to lace line drives to all fields and drive balls to the gaps. It may take some time for the 18-year-old to grow into added power, but the ingredients are there to mold into a solid, consistent bat.”
Defensively, the 5-foot-11, 184 pound infielder “has impressed on the dirt as well. A fundamentally sound defender with very good footwork, Kilen has an arm that can sling it across the diamond at 92 mph. His throws are accurate, and his baseball IQ assists in his defensive capabilities. He is projected to stay on the dirt long term, primarily at shortstop, with the ability to move around the infield and contribute elsewhere if needed.”
As the reigning Badger-East Player of the Year who led his team to its first-ever Division 1 state title this spring, Kilen “is a solid-average runner and possesses the intangibles scouts identify outside of the main components of the game,” according to Baseball America.
Kilen, who does not turn 19 until next March, becomes the first Wisconsite to be drafted by the Red Sox since 2019, when left-hander Connor Prielipp was taken in the 37th round. Prielipp ultimately decided to honor his commitment to the University of Alabama and was just selected by the Twins in the second round on Monday.
The same sort of thing may very well happen with Kilen, as the allotted slot value for the 399th pick in the 2022 draft comes in at only $125,000. Kilen will have until August 1 to decide whether to go to college, and re-enter the draft in three years, or go pro as a teenager.
(Picture of Gavin Kilen: Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images)