Sometimes you come across a picture and you could give a damn if it's formatted correctly
James: After the second round, we're both blowing past anyone who might have snagged a place on a top-100 draft prospect list, but also drifting away from players with tools that have much more than a puncher's chance of flashing above-average. The list of current White Sox who were drafted after the second round is this: Tyler Flowers, Adam Eaton, Adrian Nieto, Javy Guerra, Matt Lindstrom, Zach Putnam, Scott Carroll, Daniel Webb, Scott Downs, Nate Jones.
There are plenty of these dudes, but it’s not exactly a haven for stars. Anyways...
3rd Round Pick - Jace Fry, LHP, Oregon State
James: Some people have put an 80-grade on this guy’s name, whereas I hear more of a young adult sci-fi character. In either case, Fry had Tommy John surgery while in college, and sits low-90’s now with what sounds like a ¾ arm slot. He didn’t overpower college hitters this past year (98 K in 120.1 IP) despite his pretty decent heat from the left side, but left-handed pitching depth is not a bad thing to have unless Donnie Veal and Scott Downs have not been clear on this point.
Nick: I pretty much only know what you’ve written here about this guy. My thing would be that if he has a funky arm slot and had TJS he may be underrated and that’s a good thing, I think?
James: Seemed like it was more of a case of his arm slot lowering after surgery and he was working to normalize it. But maybe! Just you wait, Nick. The Sox snagged a guy who's had TWO TJ surgeries later on.
Jace did come in at the end of Baseball America’s top-100. So, for each of their top-three picks, the Sox snagged a guy with projections saying he should go earlier.
4th Round Pick - Brett Austin, C, North Carolina
James: Carlos Rodon’s college catcher is ESPN’s Chris Crawford’s “Questionable Value” selection for AL Central second-day picks...which is not a compliment. Crawford alleges the switch-hitting backstop has stagnated since being a stud prep prospect.
The current state of the White Sox catching depth is “Adrian Nieto has a decent argument for the MLB backup role” so Austin might shoot up the ranks and get some long looks relatively soon, even though he allegedly has some Phegley in him behind the plate.
Also, he knows Carlos Rodon, so maybe he can tell Rick Hahn what kind of snacks to bring to his negotiation meetings.
Austin also mostly slaughtered his draft hype with cruddy freshman and sophomore years. He mashed .344/.414/.516 as a junior, possibly by sucking at Rodon’s life force. That’s veteran know-how, right there.
5th Round Pick - Zach Thompson, RHP, Texas-Arlington
James: Not afraid to admit that I’m hoping that the deeper we go into this draft, some of the schools from Friday Night Lights will start becoming real. Draft the lefty from San Antonio State, Rick!
Thompson has Brandon McCarthy’s build (6’7”, 210 lbs.), upper 90’s heat and not enough refinement to even be a particularly effective college pitcher (4.64 ERA this year), so this is an all-upside pick here. Exceptional tools are hard to find as the rounds run past, so 96 mph from an intense downward-plane is interesting enough. The thing about long roads to development, though, is that most often they’re difficult enough that you’re willing to settle for a “short reliever who throws his big fastball in the strike zone 15 times, then leaves,” as a final destination. Looking at you, Jake Petricka.
6th Round Pick - Louis Lechich, OF, University of San Diego
James: Carlos Rodon appreciates your contribution to his signing bonus, anonymous senior college player.
Nick: Yeah, Spencer Adams and Carlos Rodon are not bargain players, so the balance was going to have to come somewhere else in the draft. It’s probably a matter of just trying to find the right org filler and lotto tickets here.
James: Jim Callis of MLB.com called Lechich very athletic, but stated that he needed to improve with the bat. The bat, is a lot of the battle. Think of him as Jared Mitchell, except without the walks, and taken as a senior sign in the sixth round and not drafted right before Mike Trout.
7th Round Pick - Jake Peter, IF/RHP, Creighton
James: This one….is a little odd. Apparently Peter was an effective swingman for the Bluejays, working in and out of the bullpen and touching 96 mph, and he played second base part-time to save wear-and-tear on his arm (jeez, I wish NC State had just let Rodon fill space at some random corner of the field). Naturally, the Sox are planning to play him at short, and are not interested in having him pitch.
At least not until three years from now when he’s on the verge of getting released, I suppose.
Oh well, good luck with this! And here I thought this was going to be a boring exercise.
8th Round Pick - John Ziznewski, SS, LIU-Brooklyn
James: A fifth-year senior! Just too damn interested in books to get drafted the last two years.
Collin: BA said he’d likely play second in the pros. I don’t know what the White Sox plans are but I’m guessing it doesn’t really matter.
James: Since he’s from Brooklyn, I imagine his experience is largely rooted in stickball played on Myrtle Ave., and he’ll need to adjust to wearing baseball caps, after a youth spend playing old-timey newsie hats.
I know we think more about tools than numbers, but since the Sox site is boasting his stat line, how good is Northeast Conference baseball? Better than the Twins?
Collin: Another dude from that conference went in the 4th round to the Red Sox, if that tells you anything (it doesn’t).
James: It is better than “No one who plays baseball here was previously aware MLB existed.”
9th Round Pick - Brian Clark, LHP, Kent State
James: He relieved his first two years in college and was highly effective, if not dominant. Then he became a pretty okay starter. Guess where I think he’ll end up!
At this point, I think I have exceeded my lifetime quota of sarcastic exclamation points. I wonder how many whiffs the guy who had a 7.13 K/9 at Kent State is going to have. I will admit I care more about signing Rodon and Adams more than maxing out value in rounds 6-10 where everyone else is also tanking.
10th Round Pick - Jake Jarvis, 2B, Klein Collins High School (Texas)
James: Uh, who the hell is the shortstop on this Klein Collins High team?
Future Sox typifies this as kind of a lottery ticket pick. A talented high schooler with a pretty firm college commitment and talent that transcends this round. It would be a steal to take him at this round, but uh, yeah. Maybe they thought they overdid with signability the past few rounds and decided to compensate.
Jarvis apparently is as good of a pitching prospect as a positional one at this point.
Well, we wrapped up the second day about an hour after the third day ended. Great! There were a lot of college players taken, a lot of pitchers for a system lacking in, but also good at developing pitchers. While the Sox previously might have tried to go overslot in the middle rounds to lure a highly ranked prep prospect into the system a la Trey Michalczewski, they seem to be focusing their energies (energies = money) on their likely very expensive first two picks.
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