3B Kath leads White Sox picks on Day 2

July 13th, 2021

CHICAGO – Mike Shirley, the White Sox director of amateur scouting, received complimentary messages from other people around the game after the organization selected shortstop Colson Montgomery with the 22nd pick overall on Sunday and then took third baseman Wes Kath with their second-round selection Monday.

“A lot of people reached out to me and said, ‘Wow, those are two of my favorite players I saw all year,’” Shirley said Monday. “We feel like the left-handed bats are substantial.

“To team [Kath] with Colson Montgomery, the thing about these two playing together, growing up together, going through their careers together, it’s something that’s so exciting for us. We feel like we hit a home run with both of these guys together.”

Here’s a look at Monday’s selections by the White Sox.

Round 2, 57th overall: Wes Kath, 3B, Desert Mountain HS (Ariz.)

Notable skill: The White Sox took five pitchers in the abbreviated 2020 Draft but have started in 2021 with two left-handed-hitting high school infielders. Kath, the Gatorade Arizona High School Baseball Player of the Year, hit .486 with 11 home runs, 22 RBIs, 34 runs scored, nine doubles and four triples as a senior. He’s attacked the ball more this summer, and he has the potential for more power coming from his 6-foot-3, 200-pound frame.

Fun fact: Kath was projected as the No. 34 Draft prospect by MLB Pipeline, but some publications had Kath going to the White Sox at No. 22 in the first round. Kath has committed to Arizona State University, whose coach, Tracy Smith, departed after seven seasons.

Quotable: "It means the world to me. It’s definitely a moment I’ve been dreaming of since I was a kid,” Kath told MLB.com. “It’s super special to be part of an organization like the White Sox. Definitely, I was hoping to go Day 1, but obviously, not everybody can be a first-rounder. It ends up going to where the team you are supposed to go, and the opportunity is the opportunity you are supposed to have.”

Round 3, 94th overall: Sean Burke, RHP, University of Maryland

Notable skill: According to MLB Pipeline’s scouting report, Burke has "one of the best overall fastballs in the class when combining velocity and movement.” Burke checks in at 6-foot-6, 230 pounds, and per that same scouting report, he possesses a fastball that sits between 92-95 mph, but he can reach back for more when necessary. Burke's four-seamer has serious ride up in the zone. He struck out 142 while allowing 64 hits over 97 innings during two seasons with the Terrapins.

Fun fact: Burke’s favorite pregame meal, according to his profile on the Maryland website, is peanut butter and jelly. He also averaged 22 points per game while playing basketball for St. John’s High School in Massachusetts.

Quotable: “We like the athlete a lot,” Shirley said. “We feel good about it. We had some of our scouts who would have taken him at [pick] 22.”

Round 4, 124th overall: Brooks Gosswein, LHP, Bradley University

Notable skill: Gosswein’s best season with Bradley came in 2021, when he fanned 53 in 52 2/3 innings despite posting a 5.13 ERA.

Fun fact: The southpaw is a true local prospect for the White Sox. Gosswein played collegiate ball in downstate Peoria, Ill., and he played high school baseball at Barrington, approximately 41 miles from Guaranteed Rate Field. He also made the Bradley athletic director’s honor roll (minimum 3.30 semester GPA) eight times.

Quotable: “We love the makeup,” Shirley said. “We love the kid.”

Round 5, 155th overall: Tanner McDougal, RHP, Silverado HS (Nevada)

Notable skill: The Oregon commit and third high school player selected by the White Sox has a fastball between 92-94 mph, but it can touch 96 mph. McDougal was impressive at the MLB Draft Combine, showing “nice vertical break on his heater and changeup and spin rates of greater than 3,000 rpm on both his mid-70s curveball and upper-70s slider,” per MLB.com’s Jim Callis.

Fun fact: McDougal is the son of former pro pitcher Mike McDougal, who reached Triple-A in the Orioles' system in 2000. (Not to be confused with Mike MacDougal, who worked out of the bullpen for the Royals and the White Sox.)

Quotable: “This guy has one of the elite-spin fastballs: 3,000 spin on the breaking ball,” Shirley said. “It’s a real weapon. He’s up to 95-96 [mph], with limited effort. We really were truly excited to get this piece in the 5-hole.”

Round 6, 185th overall: Taylor Broadway, RHP, Ole Miss

Notable skill: Broadway set a single-season program record with 16 saves this season. The White Sox intend to use the 24-year-old as a reliever; he has a fastball up to 96 mph with carry.

Fun fact: His father, Danny, is a professional bowler.

Quotable: “As he got a little bit older, he’s really starting to figure out how to manage the delivery in the strike zone,” Shirley said. “His weapons continue to get unlocked.”

Round 7, 215th overall: Theron Denlinger, RHP, Bradley University

Notable skill: The former football player has a fastball topping out around 99 mph. He posted six saves for Bradley this season and will be used as a reliever, much like Broadway.

Fun fact: According to his Bradley player profile, Denlinger’s family has built a blacksmith shop at their home, where Denlinger has developed into an accomplished blacksmith artist, having created an impressive collection of knives and swords.

Quotable: “The fact that it’s high-end velocity, it’s worth taking a risk on,” Shirley said. “This guy has that football-player work ethic and mentality.”

Round 8, 245th overall: Fraser Ellard, LHP, Liberty University

Notable skill: Ellard has great pitchability, according to Shirley. The White Sox envision him as a starter; he struck out 63 over 44 1/3 innings this season.

Fun fact: According to his Liberty player profile, Ellard is pursuing a master’s degree in visual communication design.

Quotable: “He does those things to miss bats,” Shirley said. “Hitters have a tough time being comfortable because he can use the stuff in multiple quadrants.”

Round 9, 275th overall: Gil Luna, LHP, University of Arizona

Notable skill: The southpaw featured a 1.69 ERA, 31 strikeouts and a .178 opponents average against out of the bullpen for the Wildcats. Shirley attributed the success to Luna's plus slider.

Fun fact: Luna basically stayed home to play baseball at Arizona, as he resides in Casa Grande, Ariz.

Quotable: “He really competes,” Shirley said. “He’s a grinder and he likes to get after it.”

Round 10, 305th overall: Tommy Sommer, LHP, Indiana University

Notable skill: According to Shirley, Sommer developed a blister this season, which slowed him down a bit. He still managed to strike out 69 in 62 2/3 innings, with great pitchability.

Fun fact: According to his Indiana player profile, his father, Juergen, was a goalkeeper for the Hoosiers (1987-90) and part of the 1988 National Championship soccer team.

Quotable: “It’s two breaking balls. It’s a curveball and a slider,” Shirley said. “It’s a plus changeup. And a fastball that has a history of plus command.”