Chris Sale, the 13th pick in the 2010 draft by the White Sox is a big athletic left-hander, with a plus fastball, plus changeup, average slider and pinpoint command. The Sox plan to pitch him in relief this year, presumably in order to limit his innings, before stretching him out in the Arizona Fall League.
Baseball America outline the Sox' plans for Sale:
While Sale will get less money than anticipated, the White Sox will give him every opportunity to crash their big league bullpen, perhaps as early as August. He'll initially report to high Class A Winston-Salem, with an anticipated promotion to Triple-A Charlotte in mid-July. After spending this summer as a reliever, he'll work in the Arizona Fall League as a starter and get the opportunity to make Chicago's rotation in spring training next year.
Sale is expected to sign the deal early this week, after undergoing a medical. Upon signing, Sale immediately becomes one of the top prospects, if not the top prospect, in the White Sox system. He offers a high ceiling, along with a good chance of reaching that ceiling and should move quickly through the system.
Sale had been expected to receive a much larger bonus than $1.656m, with some even throwing Jered Weaver money around from when he signed with the Angels in 2004 ($4m bonus). That was thought to be one of the reasons why Sale slid in the draft, along with potentially worrisome mechanics, although he does repeat his delivery very well, which is usually a key to staying healthy.
Both being able to draft Chris Sale at #13, and being able to sign him for $1.656m, should be considered real coups for the White Sox.
Don't forget to check out our draft tracker which has updates on all the White Sox draft signings, as well as links to draft reports and information on all 51 draft picks and undrafted free agent signings. For more information on Chris Sale, you can check out his prospect profile.