Alex Katz is a left-handed pitcher in the Baltimore Orioles organization. Katz was selected by the Chicago White Sox in the 27th round of the 2015 MLB draft out of St. John’s University.
In his first summer as a collegiate baseball player, Katz began his summer pitching in the prestigious Hampton Collegiate Baseball League. He was then asked to join the Cape Cod Baseball League, which is the top collegiate baseball league in America. During that summer, Baseball America named Katz the top pitching prospect in the Hamptons League. He was also named the Hamptons pitcher with the best breaking ball by Perfect Game. He was a member of the 2015 St. John’s team that won the Big East regular season and tournament. In March of the same season, Katz was named the Big East Conference Pitcher of the Week after he struck out 13 batters in 7 scoreless innings.
In his first minor league season for the Chicago White Sox, Katz split time between the Great Fall Voyagers and the Arizona League White Sox. He ended his first season with a 2.20 ERA, 4 saves and 40 strike outs in 32.2 innings pitched. Next season, the White Sox promoted Alex to play with their Single-A affiliates Kannapolis Intimidators and Winston-Salem Dash. Between the two teams in 2016, Katz combined for a 3.27 ERA, 2 saves and 57 strikeouts in 55 innings of work.
He impressed the Team Israel World Baseball Classic coaches so much that they invited him to be a part of the 2017 Team Israel World Baseball Classic team. He was a part of the team that stunned many as they started the tournament 3-0 and beat Cuba in their first game of the second round. Katz saw 3.1 innings of work and he did not allow any runs.
The Baltimore Orioles were impressed with his resume up to this point of his career that they traded for him on May 20, 2017. They White Sox shipped Katz to the Orioles in exchange for two international pool signing bonus slots that were valued at over $750,000. Dan Duquette, Orioles’ Executive VP, said “Katz has a good fastball and excellent strikeout record. A lot of guys like him and they project him to be a major league reliever.”
Alex Katz has been very successful so far in his career. It was an honor to be able to talk to him and ask him a few questions. He took time out of his busy day to answer some of those questions for us. Make sure you give him a follow on Twitter and keep an eye on him as he is destined for big things very soon.
Growing up playing baseball it is every kid’s dream to one day receive that phone call saying they were going to be drafted. Where were you when you received that call and what was that feeling like?
I was at home following the draft with my family. It’s an amazing feeling because it brings you one step closer to reaching the ultimate goal of playing in the big leagues.
Was there an adjustment you had to make between the college and pro levels? If so, what were they?
“Yes, definitely. There’s constant adjustments being made, no matter how much experience you have. The biggest adjustment for me was learning how to listen to my body and be ready to pitch multiple times a week.”
What is the biggest lesson you have learned so far from your pro career?
“Stay positive no matter what the situation is. It’s a long season and you’re going to have ups and downs. Make the most of each and every opportunity, focus one pitch at a time.”
You were traded from the Chicago White Sox to the Baltimore Orioles this year. Did that come as a complete shock to you?
“As a pro baseball player, you have to understand that there’s a business aspect to it. I had no idea that I was going to be traded. It’s definitely a good thing when a team invests in you.”
With the Single-A season coming to an end recently, are there any changes you are looking to make for next season? What are some of those changes?
“Yes, like I said before, there’s always adjustments to be made. I’m going to continue to get more sophisticated and understand the mental side to the game. I want to understand myself better, allowing myself to make in game adjustments quicker. That definitely separates a lot of players in the pro game.”
What is the best advice you can give to a high school baseball player that has aspirations of making it to the “show”?
“If you really want something, you’ll find a make to make it happen. Get better every day, no matter how small it is. Also, get used to failing, but learning from those mistakes. The longer you play, the more failures you’re going to have.”
Photo Credits: MLB.com
I'm a washed up D3 college baseball player who is pursuing their MBA in Accounting. I love baseball, basketball, and football; while rooting for the New York Mets, New York Knicks, and New York Giants. Most of the time it is full of misery. I have recently found a passion for writing about sports. I have posted a few articles for Last Word on Sports and I have now created my own website (the-sportstalk.com). You can check out my articles there and also follow the twitter account @_thesportstalk.