Prep Baseball Report

Q&A With Pennsylvania Commit Josh Katz

By: Peter Hamot
Area Scout, Staff Writer

RHP Josh Katz (Lane Tech, 2023; Pennsylvania commit) was undoubtably one of the more dominant pitchers in the state this past spring. The right-hander put together a perfect 5-0 record on the mound with 40.1 innings pitched, 48 strikeouts, nine walks, a 0.69 WHIP and an ERA of 0.87. The highlight of his season arguably came in the City Championship Game at Wrigley Field, where he tossed a complete game gem to take down Brooks by the score of 2-1. At the conclusion of the season, Katz would go on to earn Chicago Public League Pitcher of the Year honors. He continued his strong play into the summer, showing well on the PBR Tournament circuit and later committing to Pennsylvania in late July. 

We recently had the chance to talk through Katz's recruiting process, as well as some other fun topics along the way.

Our Q&A

PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process? What were you looking for out of a college program to continue your baseball career at?

Katz: During the recruiting process, I was looking for a school that had exceptional baseball as well as exceptional academics. The University of Pennsylvania was a school that offered both of those things which is one of the reasons that it was a great fit. Also, finding a coaching staff and program that would push me to become the best player I could possibly be was very important.

P: Did location or distance from home play a factor in your decision?

K: No.

P: When did the recruiting process really start to heat up for you? Where did the school you committed to first see you play?

K: The recruiting process really began heating up for me during my junior year high school season. The school that I committed to first saw me play at a camp that they hosted.

P: What do you like most about the program you chose, and what were the key factors in making your decision?

K: Something that I truly loved about the University of Pennsylvania was the match of both academics and baseball that they had to offer. Academics were something that were very important for me in the recruiting process and being able to find a school that offered great baseball and academics was ideal. The University of Pennsylvania was able to offer both and I cant wait to get on campus in the fall.

P: What other schools were on your short list before you made your final decision?

K: Princeton and Columbia.

P: Who is the best player you have faced in your state? What about them makes for a tough opponent?

K: Brendan Summerhill (Whitney Young, 2022; Arizona commit). He has all of the tools and was just a very tough matchup in the box. I have known him for many years and he has always been great. He has power and speed and simply refuses to strikeout when he is in the box.

P: At what point in your career did you realize you were a college-caliber player and became serious about taking your game to the next level?

K: During my sophomore year of high school is when I started to realize that I had the skills to play at the next level. Obviously, there was still a ton more work to be done but I think that this is when I started to think about playing college baseball seriously.

P: What advice would you give to young baseball players striving to get where you are?

K: If I were to give advice to younger kids I would tell them that the most important thing that they can do is just to keep working hard. You will always see kids throwing harder than you but its just important to stay consistent with what you are doing and you will start to see results.

P: What is the most memorable moment in your baseball career to this point?

K: The most memorable moment of my baseball career so far is without a doubt when my team won the City Championship at Wrigley Field. I threw a 114 pitch complete game which was by far the longest outing of my career and we ended up winning 2-1. It was just an incredible moment for the team and Lane Tech. For sure a moment that I will remember for the rest of my life.

P: Preview your high school team's season for us. How do you feel your team will be?

K: I am very excited for Lane Tech's 2023 season. I think we have some of the best talent in the state and will prove that we can play. We lost a couple of key pieces from last year but are just reloading with younger talent. We have a couple of underclass guys who I think can make a huge impact this year.

P: Who is the next talented young player to keep an eye on out of your high school or travel program?

K: Henry Murray from Lane Tech. Recently committed to Boston College and is a true next level player. Hits from both sides and works harder than anyone I know. For sure a guy to keep an eye on in the future.

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