Cam Caminiti brings two-way talent, MVP pedigree to Braves

July 15th, 2024

PHOENIX -- never got to interact with his cousin and three-time All-Star , who passed away two years before Cam was born. But the tales he’s heard about the 1996 National League MVP have given him a glimpse into the impact he made on his loved ones.

“I hear stories from my grandparents and parents that he was such a great guy,” Cam said at the 2024 Draft Combine. “He was always super kind and a great teammate. I think that that's one of the most important things in baseball.”

There was no shortage of film either for the Braves' 2024 first-round pick (No. 24 overall) to see what his cousin was like as a player.

“He was hard-nosed and just played as hard as he could,” Caminiti said. “I've seen some clips where he was just throwing guys out from his butt on third base.”

Cam takes honor in carrying the Caminiti name, but he is a much different player than Ken. Considered to be one of the prized high school prospects in this year’s Draft, Caminiti led Saguaro (Scottsdale, Ariz.) to a state title last year both as a hard-throwing left-handed pitcher and excellent hitter.

The 17-year-old went 9-0 with a 0.93 ERA this season, striking out 119 batters in 52 2/3 innings. At the plate, he slashed .493/.679/.826 with a 1.505 OPS.

His most impressive prep outing was when he struck out 16 consecutive batters, doing it in front of a packed stadium filled with scouts.

“I didn't realize I struck out 16 guys in a row,” Caminiti said. “The only part I noticed was I threw an immaculate inning, and I was super hyped about that, but I just kept the momentum going.”

His talent before the season started placed him on the Golden Spikes Award watch list, making him one of two high school players -- joining No. 9 overall pick Konnor Griffin -- to be selected. Caminiti's season ended with him winning the Arizona baseball Gatorade High School Player of the Year award.

Caminiti’s dominance encouraged him to reclassify from 2025 to '24 and speed up his path to professional baseball. It was a decision that came with extra academic work -- Caminiti had to finish an algebra class as part of his academic plan -- while still maintaining the same level of athletic intensity.

“I kind of fit in with the older guys,” Caminiti said. “I didn't really know that I was going to class up until June of last year. And then when I did, I was OK with the kids that I've been playing with my whole life.”

Regardless of what level comes next, Caminiti is determined to be a two-way player. His fastball clocks in at 93-95 mph, reaching as high as 98, and he takes command of the zone. His curveball and slider offerings have plenty of spin, and he incorporated a changeup this season.

Having proven consistent production at the plate, his left arm also boasts well enough for him to play in the outfield, and he has spent some time at first base too but is projected to excel more on the mound.

He likes to emulate his game after Phillies lefty Ranger Suárez because of his calm demeanor when he’s on the mound. But Caminiti’s aspirations speak loudly. He wants to become an All-Star, play in big games and make an impact on the game. While he’s carving his own legacy, he wants to honor the one his cousin Ken left behind.

“It would be super cool to play for one of the teams that he played for,” Caminiti said. “Just following in his footsteps is great, and I've talked to some scouts that have scouted him and they're super close to my family and still talk about him every single time.”