Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Meet A Prospect: Gosuke Katoh

Gosuke John Katoh was born on October, 8th 1994 in Poway California and spent his high school years at Rancho Bernardo High School in San Diego. Katoh is not a towering presence, unlike yesterday's showcase in our prospects month Aaron Judge, only standing 6'2" and weighing 180 lbs soaking wet but he has produced unforeseen power at the plate in his limited debut. Katoh was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2013 MLB First Year Players Draft by the New York Yankees out of High School and signed quickly jump starting his professional career.

Katoh put up big numbers for Rancho Bernardo High School which included playing in 135 games in which his team put up a stunning 107-29 record in his four seasons on the Varsity team. Katoh finished with a career .411 batting average with a .524 on base percentage while bashing 181 hits, 114 RBI's, and scored 169 runs. Katoh slugged .711 in his career and smashed 25 home runs, 35 doubles, and 11 triples in his four years while taking 96 walks and striking out 57 times. Katoh is a smart base runner and base stealer as he stole 38 bags in 51 chances in High School while also doing it with the glove and a .987 fielding percentage. Katoh committed seven errors in his entire High School career and his taking that glove, and all his talents to the New York Yankees.

Katoh's a left handed batter and a second basemen by trade but the Yankees have already said that they are going to try Katoh at shortstop as early as this winter, which may not happen after his finger injury, or next season. Katoh is considered to be a wonder kid with the glove at second base but his arm is the only concern with moving him to the left side of the infield. It will be interesting to see if Katoh fills in a little bit or stays looking like a taller version of Ichiro but for now Katoh is tall and lanky with a compact swing that translates into doubles and gap hitting in the majors. Katoh hits left handed but throws right handed just in case that means something to somebody who thinks that can help him, I just always find that to be an interesting tidbit of information.

Katoh broke out in a big way in his professional debut  with the Gulf Coast Yankees 1 team finishing the season with a .310/.402/.522/.924 slash line with six home runs and 25 runs batted in. Katoh got into 50 games and saw 215 plate appearances with 57 hits, 11 doubles, five triples and four stolen bases in six chances. Obviously he needs a little bit of polishing, but what High School draft pick doesn't, as is evident with his 44 strike outs and 27 walks in 2013. Katoh has a ligament injury that ended his season in the Instructional League but the injury is said to not be serious and will not prevent him from missing time next season. Katoh will look to build on a huge 2013 season this year in 2014 and I am excited to be able to watch and to cover him myself.

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