Draft Reviews: Chicago White Sox

2008 Draft Slot: Eighth overall
Top Pick: Gordon Beckham, SS, University of Georgia
Best Pick: Gordon Beckham
Keep an Eye On: Kenny Williams Jr…. just kidding. Dexter Carter, RHP, Old Dominion (13th round)
Notes: The club got an absolutely steal with Dexter Carter, who posted some ugly college numbers despite possessing good stuff (including a 96 mph fastball). His control has been solid in pro ball and so have his numbers, although he has pitched in rookie ball and low A-ball, so we need to see how he does in high A-ball and Double-A before we get too excited. Gordon Beckham is growing on me as a prospect, but I am still not his biggest fan. Third baseman Brent Morel looks like a pretty good third-round pick. He’s hitting just .258 in high A-ball, but his BABIP is .264, he’s hitting more homers and his contact rates are pretty good.

2007 Draft Slot: 25th overall
Top Pick: Aaron Poreda, LHP, University of San Francisco
Best Pick: Aaron Poreda
Worst Pick: Nevin Griffith, RHP, Florida high school (Second round)
Notes: Nevin Griffith gets tabbed as the worst pick of the draft mostly because he was taken in the second round and he’s only pitched 20 pro innings thanks to Tommy John surgery. Right-hander John Ely was a nice third-round pick and could develop into a solid No. 3 or 4 starter. Aaron Poreda has great velocity on the fastball but the secondary stuff is still lacking. He could be a dominating closer.

2006 Draft Slot: 29th overall
Top Pick: Kyle McCulloch, RHP, University of Texas
Best Pick: John Shelby Jr., 2B/OF, University of Kentucky (Fifth round)
Worst Pick: Kyle McCulloch
Notes: John Shelby Jr. is by far the best pick of the draft and the club really, really missed with Kyle McCulloch, as well as the second and third round picks… OK, basically all the picks were bad. The White Sox could have had Joba Chamberlain (41st overall) or Adrian Cardenas (37th) instead of the Texas southpaw.

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2009 Draft Slot: 23rd overall
Draft Preference (2006-08): College players, usually an arm if available
MLB Club Need: Center field, Third base, Relief pitching
Organizational Need: Outfield, First base, Second base, Left-handed pitching
Organizational Strength: Third base, Shortstop
Notes: Does Kenny have any more draft-eligible sons? OK… I’m done now. The White Sox had a nice draft in 2008, so it will be interesting to see how organization does in 2009 with a couple extra picks in the first two rounds.

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Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospect analysis. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.

3 Responses to “Draft Reviews: Chicago White Sox”

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  1. Walter Jones says:

    3B as an MLB need? Really? What about catcher — an organizational black hole, even if you project Tyler Flowers to start his career behind the plate (and not be Thome’s replacement at DH)?

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  2. Kyle McCulloch says:

    I’m right-handed. And when a guy goes 41st overall to the richest team in baseball for well above slot due largely to his bonus demands, that means pretty much any team could’ve paid an arm and a leg for said player. Yes, I pretty much suck, but considering you’re holding yourself out here as some kind of authority on past drafts, feel free to acknowledge the context of the slot system and at least try to look up what hand I throw baseballs with next time before clowning me for not being Joba.

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  3. Sean says:

    Dan Hudson in the fifth round is looking like one of the best picks in the 2008 draft as well.

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