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South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 80: Kade Mechals

Grit and determination will see this righty making his pro debut in 2022.


Kade Mechals

Right-Handed Starting Pitcher
185 pounds
Age: 24
SSS rank among all right-handed starting pitchers in the system: 14

Kade Mechals, a native of McMinnville, Ore., took two years and two transfers to finally settle into his college career. In 2017 he committed to Western Oregon University, where he pitched as the closer. That year, he posted nine saves and a 1.59 ERA as he stuck out 37 batters in 22 2⁄3 innings of work. As a sophomore, Mechals transferred to Skagit Valley College, a community college in Mount Vernon, Wash. At Skagit Valley in 2018 he made eight starts and pitched to a 1.72 ERA. In his 47 innings, he struck out 77 hitters. That summer, he went to the Cape Cod League, college baseball’s top summer league, to pitch for the Orleans Firebirds, where he posted a 3.86 ERA in five outings while fanning 19 in 18 2⁄3 innings.

With his sophomore season under his belt, in 2019 Mechals transferred to Division I Grand Canyon University, located in Phoenix; all he did was post an 11-1 record and 2.16 ERA. In his 91 2⁄3 innings, he surrendered just 64 hits and fanned 100 while walking 35. Mechals got off to an excellent start for the Lopes in 2020, with three starts, a 2.35 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. In 15 1⁄3 innings, Mechals relinquished nine hits and seven walks while striking out 18. He only pitched three games that year, not just due to the pandemic but also because his shoulder was in pain. Shortly before the MLB draft, Mechals underwent Tommy John surgery.

With the White Sox looking for under-slot prospects to compensate for paying significant over-slot dough to second-rounder Jared Kelley, they signed Adisyn Coffey in the third round for $50,000 and spent $10,000 on Mechals in the fourth.

With that said, Mechals is not a slouch. He didn’t pitch in 2021 due to the injury, but is slated to begin the 2022 season with Kannapolis. His fastball runs in the low-90s — topping out around 92 around the time of his injury. His fastball isn’t all about velocity, but movement. Perhaps two years after the surgery, Mechals’ velocity may increase. In the meantime, he offers a curve and change which helps speed up the fastball in the hitters’ eyes.

I’ve been told that Mechals possesses some of the same mannerisms of Mark “The Bird” Fidrych, but don’t have any evidence to back that up. His manager, the former major leaguer Andy Stankiewicz, called him a bulldog and “at his best in game situations.” Mechals’ profile and size indicate he may be better suited for middle relief, but with his grit and determination, there really shouldn’t be any cap in what he can do until proven otherwise.

2022 South Side Sox Top 100 White Sox Prospects

80. Kade Mechals, RHSP
81: Caberea Weaver, CF
82. Layant Tapia, SS
83. Homer Cruz, RHRP
84. Kaleb Roper, RHSP
85. Jerry Burke, RHSP
86. Emerson Talavera, RHRP
87. Isaiah Carranza, RHSP
88. Davis Martin, RHSP
89. Tyler Osik, 1B
90. Samil Polanco, 3B
91. Manuel Veloz, RHRP
92. Pauly Milto, RHRP
93. Fraser Ellard, LHRP
94. Colby Smelley, C
95. Manuel Guariman, C
96. Everhett Hazelwood, RHRP
97. Garrett Schoenle, LHRP
98. Kyle Kubat, LHRP
99. Anderson Comas, RF
100. Jake Elliott, RHRP