After a fairly conservative second day to the 2010 MLB draft, the White Sox starting swinging from their heels with several of their latter round picks. Typically, high school players drafted in the later rounds do not sign, but there’s always a chance that the Sox will dangle significant amounts of money their way in order to get them to turn pro.
The three players that I will be focusing on here are 36th round pick Ben Griset, a LHP out of Gustine HS (CA), 38th rounder Brad Salgado, a SS drafted out of Great Oak HS (CA) and Conrad Gregor, a 1B/OF drafted out of Carmel HS (IN).
Coming in at 6’1″, 175, Ben Griset is not a big guy, nor does he have huge projectability, but his fastball can already hit 92 mph and he’s likely to add a tick or two more to that as he fills out. Griset’s best weapon is a power curveball that projects to be a plus pitch for him in the future. He’s also working on a changeup. With a repertoire that includes two potentially plus pitches in his fastball/slider and an average third pitch in his changeup, you could see Griset becoming a mid rotation type starter or better. He’s committed to St. Mary’s and supposedly has a strong desire to attend college at some point in his life, but he has also been quoted as saying that he’ll turn pro if the price is right.
Brad Salgado is an athletic middle infielder who projects as a second baseman due to a lack of range for shortstop. He doesn’t have a lot of arm strength but he should be fine for 2B. He’s a smooth defender with soft hands and is very good at turning the double play. At the plate, Salgado is a line drive hitter who sprays the ball to all fields with occasional pop. He hit .375 this year with 5 home runs and 13 stolen bases and is committed to Kansas. The White Sox need more athletic middle infielders in their system and getting Brad Salgado to sign would be a major coup.
The third prospect, Conrad Gregor, may be the best of this trio. He’s an athletic first baseman/outfielder with a strong build and great strength. He has plus bat speed and a quick swing with excellent power potential. He projects to hit for both plus power and plus average with an outside chance of developing into a 65-70 power guy (on the 20-80 scale). He’s a good student with a strong commitment to Vanderbilt, making him the least likely of this trio to sign (Vanderbilt commitments are notoriously tough to break), and some have gone as far as to simply call him “unsignable”. Gregor is one to watch as a potential top 3 round pick in 2013, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him develop into a legit first round talent.
These three players are all very talented, all unlikely to sign with the Sox, but they do represent areas of need; left handed pitching, athletic middle infielders and power hitters. I’d rank the players as follows; Gregor 1, Griset 2 and Salgado 3, but signing any one of these three players could help take the White Sox’ 2010 draft class from mid pack to above average.