Jacob Gatewood was snagged by the Milwaukee Brewers at No. 41, taking away from the MLB Draft broadcast of its most high-profile example of a highly-touted high school talent sliding past his first-round draft projections. The poor guy was just sitting there on the floor for four hours. But he wasn't the only one.
With the No. 44 pick, the White Sox nabbed Spencer Adams, the pride and joy--I'm assuming--of White County, Georgia, to add another highly projectable young right arm to a system in need of some pitching projects.
A rangy-looking 6'4", 180-pounds coming out of high school, Adams generates optimism from already being able to sit in the low-90's and flash 95 mph before filling out and maturing, and Keith Law identifies Adams as having a slider and change-up that both offer the potential to be average or slightly better. And apparently he's got some ups.
He could probably step in and replace Kirk Hinrich's production right away.
Law had Adams as his No. 27 ranked prospect in his top-100, offering a perfect world projection of "a potential No. 3 starter with a chance for more if the secondary offerings improve." Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com both offered the possibility of Adams going in the No. 22 range in their last mock draft, with more optimism offered toward his raw stuff, while Law suggested pitching feel is what lifts him up over other candidates.
It's nice to hear first round grades placed on an otherwise mysterious high school pitcher from Georgia, who is not visible much outside some isolated video clips of a rather easy-looking three-quarters delivery, but at this point of the draft, the variance of 10-15 picks from a team's list of preferred prospects and league-wide expectations is hardly unprecedented.
Just last year, the Sox were explaining why their optimism for the now highly-regarded Tim Anderson transcended second round grades placed from media scouts, and the Cubs are surely going to spend all night Thursday and all day Friday explaining that they have their own unique evaluation of Kyle Schwarber.
But the Sox need arms, they need ones with more potential than the back-end filler they've been trying to coach up for the past few years, and Adams is a well-reviewed option to fit the bill. Hopefully Adams isn't too disappointed from his fall from the first round bonus pool to pass up the University of Georgia.
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