The White Sox continued the run on right-handed college pitching with the selection of Kent State’s Kyle McMillen at 141. McMillen wasn’t the top pitching prospect on Kent State’s staff (that honor goes to Andrew Chafin, who went 43rd to Arizon), but he is a well-rated arm for a fourth round selection.
McMillen comes in at 94 on Baseball America’s draft rankings, the second highest among the South Siders’ early picks and only two slots behind first pick Keenyn Walker. BA says he has low 90s velocity with an improving slider and could have gone in the first three rounds.
The 6-2, 200 pound right-hander was Kent State’s closer this year on a top 25 team. In 28 relief appearances McMillen totaled 18 saves with a 1.80 ERA. He struck out 31 with 12 walks and 18 hits (1 HR) in 30 innings.
McMillen pitched in the Cape Cod League this summer, catching scouts’ attention there despite poor results. He pitched for Cotuit and posted a 5.87 ERA in 15.1 innings. He struck out 10, walked 13 and allowed 21 hits.
His first two years at Kent State, he was a two-way player, even hitting .354 as a sophomore. As a pitcher, he struggled with control before this year. He focused on pitching as a junior and it showed in the results.
The Sox third round pick, Jeff Soptic, also profiles as a reliever. This can be viewed as taking lower upside picks, but both pitchers have good velocity and are well-rated by scouts.