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ASU Baseball: Tyler Thornton, Wes Kath, Mat Olsen sign rookie deals

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Talent not heading to Tempe

Brady Vernon

The MLB officially took a handful of talent from Arizona State baseball on Saturday. Sun Devil pitcher Tyler Thornton and a pair of 2021 signees; Wes Kath and Mat Olsen signed their first professional contracts after being selected in the MLB Draft.

Thornton had two years of eligibility remaining in Tempe following two years as a Sun Devil and after transferring from Saint Mary’s. While part of the Gaels program, he was the National Freshman of the Year (Collegiate Baseball) and National Freshman Pitcher of the Year (NCWBA).

It never quite came together for Thornton the past two years. Over 100.1 innings, he had a 5.02 ERA, but he was asked to step up as the Friday night starter after a handful of injuries to the Sun Devil staff. The 17th round pick of the Cleveland Indians is now officially part of the team’s farm system.

Wes Kath, a highly touted infielder from the local Desert Mountain High School, was unlikely to make it to campus, and now he’ll be moving past his Arizona State commitment. According to MLB.com’s Jim Callis, Kath, who was selected with the 57th overall pick by the Chicago White Sox, signed for $1.8 million, about $600,000 above slot value.

Central Arizona pitcher and 2021 signee Mat Olsen could’ve had a large role in the rotation next season — especially after the departures of Thornton, Erik Tolman and Justin Fall. Instead, Olsen has signed with San Francisco Giants after the organization used its ninth round pick on the pitcher.

The 2021 MLB Draft had nine Arizona State affiliated players (five current players and four signees) taken. Tolman already signed and Drew Swift signed with the Oakland A’s for $125K. Fall has no eligibility left after the Miami Marlins took him in the 17th round. Cooper Benson is the lone Sun Devil not to sign and was taken by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 17th round. Signees Will Rogers (Milwaukee Brewers’ 17th round pick) and Caden Vire (Brewers’ 12th round pick) have also not made a decision on their futures yet.