Contemplating a new draft strategy

First rebuilding, now this?

On the subject of taking a high school player with the 1st round pick in next month's draft, scouting director Doug Laumann admitted "There is as much of that possibility as it's ever been."

That's admittedly not a whole lot to go on, but I imagine if the end of that sentence from Laumann was "...which is to say there's none at all," Gonzales would have included it.

Any consideration is worth noticing for a team that hasn't selected a high school player with their first overall draft pick since Kris Honel in 2001.  Given the way Honel's development went, it's easy to see how the Sox might have become disenchanted with the idea of giving 1st round bonuses to high school amateurs.

To a point.

The practice of opting for safer, but lower-ceiling college players reached a climax last season, where the Sox didn't take a single high-schooler in the first 30 rounds of the draft.  Taking Gio Gonzalez out of high school in the 1st supplemental round in 2004 feels like ages ago.

When Kenny Williams mentioned rebuilding this winter, and followed it up with trades for some interesting--if not exactly hot--pitching prospects, it was the first time in quite a while that the Sox seemed to be actively addressing the lack of future franchise cornerstones in the farm system.  It wasn't a big leap forward, but it was something.

The draft is going to be the next opportunity to see how aggressive the Sox are going to be toward re-stocking their farm system, and likely the more significant indicator.  The #13 overall pick offers a better opportunity to land a high-ceiling talent than this winter's tepid trade market did, and it would be nice if the Sox reacted to the urgency of the situation by ditching the self-imposed limitations.

 

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  • Though it probably should be said that the White Sox have a pretty nifty recent record drafting college players with the 13th pick.

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