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2024 South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 67: Wes Kath

The sophomore slump hit hard

It was a brutal year for Wes Kath, but he did earn the homer necklace eight times for the Dash.
| Salina Rae Silver/South Side Sox

Wes Kath
Third Baseman
6´3´´
200 pounds
Age: 20
2022 SSS Top Prospect Rank 7
2023 SSS Top Prospect Rank 12
2023 High Level Winston-Salem (High-A)
Age relative to high level -2.2 years
SSS rank among all third basemen in the system 4
Overall 2023 regular season stats 95 games ⚾️ 8 HR ⚾️ 31 RBI ⚾️ .193/.275/.311 ⚾️ 37 BB ⚾️ 168 K ⚾️ 7-of-7 (100%) SB

Wes Kath ranked 34th on MLB.com’s draft board. Perfect Game had him at No. 21 overall and second among third basemen. He has, according to Perfect Game, a “loose left-handed stroke with present barrel skills.” Kath also “still shows room to project more power as he continues to fill out his large, lean build with the ability to continue to impact the ball at a high rate.” Defensively, the only concern for Kath is that he “tends to need to set and throw to be accurate.” This is why all major projections had him moving from shortstop to third.

The scouting grades for Kath are 55 Hit, 50 Power, 45 Run, 60 Arm, 50 Field, and 50 Overall. MLB Pipeline’s scouting report said, “He showed the ability to impact the baseball repeatedly at a number of events against very good competition. There have been times in the past where he’s been more of a defensive hitter, but he attacked the ball more this summer and there’s size and strength to hope for more power if he can continue to be aggressive at the plate.”

Kath hit well throughout the showcase circuit during the previous summer and was Gatorade’s Arizona Player of the Year as a senior. He led Desert Mountain High to the 5-A state title and crushed a long homer at the Angels’ spring training park in the championship game. Kath destroyed Arizona high school pitching in 2021 , batting .486 with 11 home runs, 29 RBIs, 34 runs, and a greater than .620 OBP.

With concerns that Colson Montgomery would get selected before they were able to make their first-round selection, Kath was often seen as Plan B in the first round for the White Sox. Fortunately, they were able to select Montgomery. Then, with Kath falling to the late second round (perhaps because of his strong commitment to Arizona State University), the Sox selected him in the second round and signed him to an over-slot, $1.8 million bonus.

Playing for the ACL Sox was a difficult adjustment for Kath, as he slashed just .212/.287/.337 in 28 games with two triples, three homers, 15 RBIs, eight walks (7.0%), 42 strikeouts (36.5%) and 66 wRC+. When contact was made, he hit grounders at a staggering 54.2% rate. Considering he was playing against competition 1.8 years older on average, however, Kath’s struggles were not at all surprising.

Kath’s first full pro season was a mixed bag, as he was part of the “prospect elite” Project Birmingham, but frankly had done little to earn the honor — at least when it came to actual, Double-A game play. Simply evaluating him on his proper placement (99 games at Low-A Kannapolis), the results were encouraging. Kath’s .397 slugging percentage indicated he’d found his power stroke at the same or better pace than first-rounder Montgomery, and the third baseman was also walking at a nice enough pace to warrant a .343 on-base. Huge concerns, however, came with Kath’s swing-and-miss weakness, as his 148 whiffs in Low-A worked out to roughly three Ks every two games.

Putting aside the debacle of moving Kath to Birmingham in August and throwing him to the wolves for 13 games, the third-sacker still rides high in White Sox eyes; he’ll start 2024 in Winston-Salem.

Unfortunately for Kath, the bad vibes of a premature promotion to Double-A carried over throughout his 2023 summer. Promoted to Winston-Salem with a possible hope of him seeing Birmingham again by summer’s end, the third baseman regressed in every way, with even less contact and power than his woeful 2022 season.

While still young enough to rebound, Kath has sunk as the player picked just one round ahead of him in 2022 has soared. Just two full seasons in we can’t throw the bust flag, but it’s looking very dark for a guy drafted in the second round.

Kath’s Baseball Cube player ratings
Durability 69
Power 62
Runs 53
XBH 47
RBIs 37
Speed 34
Hitting 29
Contact 8

His performance would merit a return to Low-A, which actually would be age-appropriate for him in 2024. However, chances are Kath runs back another season with the Dash in hopes of tidying up some of his many deficiencies. With any luck, improved power and on-base can get Kath back to Bham by summer’s end.


2024 South Side Sox Top 100 White Sox Prospects

67. Wes Kath, 3B
68. Alsander Womack, 2B
69. Jordan Sprinkle, SS
70. Connor McCullough, RHSP
71. Luis Rodriguez, RHRP
72. Jonah Scolaro, LHRP
73. Ben Beutel, LHRP
74. Stiven Flores, C
75. Adrian Gil, 1B
76. Yohemy Nolasco, RHRP
77. Ben Norman, LF
78. Josimar Cousín, RHSP
79. Juan Gonzalez, C
80. Chris Lanzilli, LF
81. Alex Speas, RHRP
82. Fraser Ellard, LHRP
83. Garrett Wright, RHRP
84. Duke Ellis, CF
85. Mathias LaCombe, RHRP
86. Godwin Bennett, RF
87. Rikuu Nishida, LF
88. Caden Connor, LF
89. Zach Franklin, RHRP
90. Jeremy González, LHSP
91. Jerry Burke, RHRP
92. Frankeli Arias, LHSP
93. Mikey Kane, 3B
94. Carlton Perkins, RHSP
95. Tyler Neslony, LF
96. Drew Dalquist, RHSP
97. Jason Matthews, SS
98. Jonathan Stiever, RHSP
99. Tommy Sommer, LHSP
100. Daniel González, LHRP


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