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Cade Kuehler emerges as top MLB draft prospect at Campbell
Cade Kuehler was Second-Team All-Big South in 2022. (Credit: Caitie McMekin/News Sentinel/USA TODAY Sports)

Cade Kuehler emerges as top MLB draft prospect at Campbell

Editor’s note: The Atlanta Braves selected P Cade Kuehler with the No. 70 pick in the second round of the 2023 MLB Draft on July 9.

BUIES CREEK, N.C. (BVM) – Campbell’s Cade Kuehler has emerged as one of the best pitchers in the country at the college level. And according to Prospects Live, he is the No. 20 prospect in the upcoming MLB draft.

He sits in the mid 90s with his fastball, and when needed, can reach back for a little bit more. Kuehler also has a hard slider with a good curveball and changeup to round out his four-pitch mix.

The ceiling for the college junior is sky high.

But he was not always the most sought after player.

In fact, the 6-foot flamethrower only had two scholarship offers coming out of high school. One from Campbell and one from East Tennessee State.

Initially, the Waxhaw, North Carolina native was leaning towards going out-of-state to play for the Buccaneers.

“I was originally going to go to Campbell to get the first visit out of the way, then go to the place I thought I was going to go,” Kuehler said.

But when he arrived in Buies Creek, he had a change of heart. He knew Campbell was the place for him.

“Just walking on campus, I fell in love with the atmosphere, the coaching staff and the facilities,” Kuehler said. “I just got that feeling of home.”

A few years later, it looks like Kuehler could not have made a better decision.

As a freshman, he held his own finishing the year with a 3.89 ERA. He followed that up as a sophomore in 2022, posting a .184 batting average against with 111 strikeouts in 84 innings, helping lead the Camels to the regional round of the NCAA Tournament.

Alongside Kuehler were Campbell stars Zach Neto who went No. 13 overall to the Los Angeles Angels in the 2022 MLB Draft and Thomas Harrington who went No. 36 to the Pittsburgh Pirates. 

Outside of Kuehler in the upcoming draft, Ty Cummings also projects to go fairly early as well.

With all of the talent that has been accumulated at Campbell, it has strengthened Kuehler’s game even further.

“It creates really good intra-teammate competition,” Kuehler said. “Just being able to compete against those guys on a daily basis elevates my game and my competitiveness.”

Like his teammates of the past, he will likely hear his name called early in the draft, but Kuehler is focused on the here and now.

“I know we can take care of business here and win a bunch of baseball games,” Kuehler said. “That means I’m doing whatever I need to do at that point to go wherever I need to go in July.”

Kuehler is more locked in on his team’s success than his own individual stock with the main goal being a Super Regionals appearance. The best formula for that is Kuehler doing what he typically does when he is on the mound.

“I just want to be the best player I can be.”