By: Mario Phillips
Nick Kahle – C – Chaminade Prep School (CA), 5’11″ 210. Bats: Right. Throws: Right. College Commitment: Washington
Scouted: 2015 Area Code Games (Blair Field, CA) August 4 and 5, 2015; March 29, 2016, at 2016 Boras Classic (Junipero Serra Catholic HS, CA).
Kahle (pronounced Kale) is one of the top prep catchers in the country, in what is a deep HS catcher class. While Kahle is a notch below top CA catching prospect Blake Sabol, he is still an elite catching prospect. His work ethic, makeup, and leadership intangibles are off the chart. Oh yeah, he is an excellent defender, has an above average arm behind the plate, and can flat out hit!
2015 Stats: .421 BA, 2 HR, 23 RBI, 1.000 Fld%
HITTING – Kahle is not just a catch and throw prospect—The kid can also hit too! He has exceptional hitting mechanics that are simple and repeatable. Loads bat quietly and attacks the ball. Good rhythm and timing in approach. Kahle has a compact, quick line drive swing with some leverage for future power—consistent hard contact to all fields. He will routinely mash balls into the gaps and drive in runs.
POWER – Kahle’s hands move quickly through the hitting zone while his swing has some leverage to it, thereby generating good power. Kahle projects as a 15 HR/year MLB hitter.
SPEED – Kahle is a catcher after all, and has below average speed. However, he is a smart baserunner and compensates for lack of speed with instincts and hustle.
ARM – Throws out the good runners with a loose arm–Kahle possesses a major league arm behind the plate right now. I recorded a pop time of 1.94, but Kahle has been clocked at 1.81. Kahle is on target with pinpoint accuracy—it’s fun to watch him make the throw to 2nd.
DEFENSE – Exceptional receiving skills behind the plate with off the chart intangibles and leadership skills. Kahle has a strong body, blocks the plate well, and possesses great hands/receiving skills—exhibits finesse with receiving that is difficult to teach.
FUTURE – Nick Kahle is a talented catching prospect with natural instincts behind the plate, and a bat that projects to play at the MLB level. Kahle’s plus intangibles, including solid receiving skills and leadership on the field are off the charts and cannot be measured with numbers alone. His leadership ability/take charge attitude are advanced beyond his years and he is an extra coach on field. His current coaches sing his praises and predict he will be an outstanding coach one day! Will NOT be a project for player development people. WILL be an example for the other catchers in an organization to follow. His hitting tool will enable him to hit .280 in the majors with avg. pop—about 15 homers a yr. He is committed to Washington and appears intent on playing college ball. However, if he is drafted in one of the earlier rounds and offered a bonus above slot, there is a chance he might sign. I expect Kahle to go to Washington and work his way towards a first round selection as a college junior in 2019. Either way, Kahle is a plus defender at premium position that can hit the ball and should have a long MLB career as an occasional all-star catcher.