Yesterday we kicked off our 2016 series looking back five years at how Chicago’s teams drafted in 2011. The Chicago Cubs haven’t seen much at the major league level from that draft class, but the 2011 Draft wasn’t great for many teams across Major League Baseball.
When we looked back at 2010 last year, there was a lot to smile about for Sox fans. The South Siders grabbed Chris Sale with the 13th overall pick in 2010 and also picked up a couple other pitchers who saw some major league action.
As we look back at the 2011 Draft, the White Sox and their fans can only ask What If? In a draft class that is coming to be known for the pitchers it produced, the 2011 Draft class of the White Sox has been used to trade for veteran pitching on a couple occasions… so far.
The White Sox didn’t have a pick until the 47th overall selection, a supplemental pick they received when JJ Putz left. With that selection, the White Sox picked outfielder Keenyn Walker from Central Arizona College.
Walker, a speedy outfielder, has racked up 195 stolen bases in 547 minor league games in the Sox organization. But now 25 years old and still stuck in Double-A with a .683 OPS, he didn’t even register on MLB.com’s top 30 prospects in the Sox organization for this year.
Chicago’s second round pick was in the news last week. With the 80th overall selection in the 2011 MLB Draft, the Sox selected RHP Erik Johnson from the University of California-Berkeley. Johnson appeared in 18 games for the White Sox before he was traded to San Diego last week in the deal that brought James Shields to the South Side.
The most familiar name to fans from the 2011 MLB Draft was second baseman Marcus Semien, who appeared in 85 games for the White Sox. Chicago drafted Semien with the 201st overall pick.
Semien was traded to Oakland with another pick from the 2011 Draft, pitcher Chris Bassitt, in the deal that brought former Cubs’ starter Jeff Samardzija to the Sox after the 2014 season. Bassitt and Semien are both still contributing in Oakland, while Samardzija moved on to San Francisco as a free agent after a less-than-stellar season with his second Chicago team.
If you refer to the top 30 prospects in the organization linked above from MLB.com, there isn’t a single player from the 2011 Draft on the list for the White Sox.
Click here to see the rest of the White Sox 2011 MLB Draft class.