Wes Kath had a memorable final season at Desert Mountain High (Ariz.) this spring.
He hit .486 with 11 home runs, 29 RBIs and 34 runs scored to lead Desert Mountain to a state championship and 20-4 record. Kath’s success caused him to receive the distinction as this year’s Gatorade Arizona high school baseball Player of the Year.
This spring was an important year for the prep shortstop. Kath drew a plethora of interest from professional scouts in preparation for July 11’s MLB draft. His success caused him to vault up draft boards with scouts now projecting Kath as a potential first-round pick.
“It has been very fun and super special,” Kath said. “You only go through this once or maybe twice if you are lucky. I have just tried to take it step-by-step and think of the positives. At this point, we are just waiting and seeing.”
Kath is a 6-foot-3, 205-pound left-handed-hitting infielder whose best traits are his skills at the plate.
Kath currently is more of a contact-over-power hitter who possesses quick hands and some natural loft in his swing. He has the size and fundamentals to develop more power at the plate as he matures.
Most scouts believe Kath, a high school shortstop, will have to move to third base in pro ball. Kath has good hands, above-average arm strength and the throwing accuracy to play third base.
Kath is comfortable playing third base at the next level but hopes to refine his skills to remain at shortstop long-term.
“Most scouts see me at third base, which is fine by me,” Kath said. “I love third, so I am not going to complain about that. Personally, I believe I can play at shortstop with no issue. But my speed will have to pick up a little still to compete with the other guys. My hands and arm strength can compete with anyone, though.”
Besides being a top prospect for the 2021 draft, Kath also is an Arizona State commit. Kath grew up close to the ASU campus and liked the idea of attending a quality university with a highly-regarded baseball program close to home.
ASU recently made a coaching change, hiring ASU alum and former MLB utility player Willie Bloomquist on June 11. Kath likes the hiring and is intrigued at the possibility of playing for a former MLB player, he said.
“The coaching staff he has brought on is going to be top-notch,” Kath said. “Either option and path, whichever I end up choosing, is going to be the right path.”
Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for six years. He has interviewed 253 of the top draft prospects in that period, including three No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com and The Arizona Republic, have quoted his work, while he has appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.