The White Sox continue to select young prep talent in a draft full of it, diverting further and further from their previous strategy of “safe” college players.
With the 57th overall pick, the organization selected high school shortstop/third baseman Wes Kath from Desert Mountain High School in Arizona. Kath was rumored to be a backup pick for the Sox if Colson Montgomery, their first-round pick, was not available at pick #22. Instead, the White Sox get two high school shortstops that were at the top of their draft board.
Name: Wes Kath
School: Desert Mountain High School (AZ)
Weight: 200 lbs
D.O.B.: 8/3/02 (18-years-old)
Committed: Arizona State
MLB Pipeline Grades:
– Hit: 55
– Power: 45
– Run: 45
– Arm: 60
– Field: 50
– Overall: 50
– MLB Pipeline: 34
– Baseball America: 54
– FanGraphs: 26
– Keith Law (The Athletic): 78
Why it Makes Sense
This section is going to feel very similar to the same section from last night’s article on Colson Montgomery. A left-handed prep bat with the ability to handle playing up the middle? This sounds like something the White Sox are severely lacking in their organization – and something they have clearly made it a priority to stock up on.
Since the graduation of Michael Kopech, Andrew Vaughn, and Nick Madrigal, the White Sox have been searching for the next wave of talent that will help to extend their window of contention. In order to do that, you need to draft well – Montgomery and Kath are certainly examples of that. Teams love young high school talent, and the White Sox have made sure to add this demographic of ballplayers that their system is short on.
Kath destroyed high school pitching in 2021, hitting .486 with 11 home runs and 29 RBI. He doesn’t wear batting gloves and has a smooth left-handed swing that currently is more suited for doubles. However, scouts believe he is going to grow into his home run power with age. He is a below-average runner, but scouts believe he has the ability to stick at SS at the higher levels, though there is more concern about him moving to 3B than there is with Montgomery. The concern comes from the fact that he “tends to need to set and throw to be accurate.” That being said, MLB.com’s scouting report said that some see Kath as “a slightly more athletic version of Red Sox prospect Triston Casas, perhaps with a bit less power.”
Much of the same that we mentioned last night for Montgomery holds true for Kath: the Sox can develop talent while the need for immediate major league contributors is low, and accumulate interesting trade pieces to use at the deadline, in the offseason, or beyond. Kath and other young players the team drafts could provide more flexibility in future deals – something that hasn’t really been possible with Chicago’s current group of prospects. However, the White Sox would be absolutely thrilled if Montgomery and Kath contributed to the next wave of “sustained success” on the South Side – it’s been a long time since we’ve seen that.
All told, the White Sox have had a great first two rounds of drafting. If the trend continues, the Sox will likely pick another prep player or two before really starting to stock up on college pitching talent.
Welcome to Chicago, Wes Kath! South Side fans are happy to see you, and can’t wait for your debut somewhere down the line.
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