The 2013 MLB amateur draft is upon us, beginning on Thursday, June 6th at 6:00pm (CT) with the first two rounds. Rounds 3 through 10 are completed on June 7th, starting at 12:00pm. Rounds 11-40 are completed on Saturday the 8th. The White Sox draft 17th in the first round. And with the way the big club has been playing, there is that much more focus on the Sox minor league system.
This will be the first draft of the Rick Hahn era for the White Sox. Rick was involved in previous drafts, but now as the GM, he’s in charge of the process. Last year’s surprise picks of High School players with each of the first two picks (OF Courtney Hawkins and 1B Keon Barnum), along with the new GM, make it tough to predict which way they may go. Rumors have been flying about who the Sox are likely to draft. But there have been indications from the beat writers that the focus is on middle infielders and college starting pitchers. Draft pundits point to some toolsy outfielders who are possibilities as well.
Who will the Sox draft at #17? Here’s a look at some possibilities as written up by Brian Bilek, special to FutureSox…
Most Likely Scenarios:
1.) Alex Gonzalez, Oral Roberts, RHP – 91-93 MPH fastball with very good movement. Flying up the boards after his slider’s development into a plus pitch. Ceiling is #2-#3 starter and basement is a reliever. A couple of scouts doubt him as a SP but no one doubts his fastball-slider combo out of the pen.
2.) JP Crawford, HS, SS – A USC commit. Less of a risk than a typical HS player. Great defense at shortstop and while he is improving at the plate, he hits for a good average and carries plus speed. May grow out of the SS position but has the speed and athleticism to play all over the diamond. Cousin of Carl.
3.) Chris Anderson, Jacksonsville, RHP – Ceiling as a #2 starter. Nice pitcher’s frame at 6′ 4″ 225 and a slider that projects as an out pitch. Fastball in the mid nineties. Some amount of risk for a college pitcher. His college stats at Jacksonville aren’t overly impressive and has only started one full season. However, Anderson has been tied to the Sox as much as anyone but Alex Gonzalez and Austin Wilson.
4.) Phillip Ervin, Samford, OF – His bat speed may be the best in the draft. A little stocky but still has decent speed. Defensively he projects as average. Hit well with wood bat in Cape Cod League. A couple reviews see him with the potential to drop out of the 1st on draft day.
5.) Austin Wilson, Stanford, OF – High risk, high reward. He possesses good strength, athletic ability and has the tools. Outstanding arm. He does seem to look unnatural on the field. Never has hit like a 1st RD pick for an extended period of time at Stanford. About as risky as a college OFer comes, his ceiling is Giancarlo Stanton and his basement would be maybe a RH Joe Borchard.
6.) Aaron Judge, Fresno St., OF – Judge is massive at 6′ 7″ and 260 lbs. Very good K/BB ratio and pretty solid overall approach. While scouts put his power potential at 30+ HRs, he holds a short swing that has yet to put that projection into fruition. Pretty solid in the other aspects of the game but the big wild card is whether the power will project.
Players likely taken ahead of #17, but who may fall and be interesting:
1.) DJ Peterson, New Mexico, 1B– One of the most advanced hitters in the draft. Should reach the majors sooner than most and risk is relatively low. Defense is weak and he’s average to slow running. Could be a perennial .275 hitter with 25 HRs, think Michael Cuddyer in his prime.
2.) Dominic Smith, HS, 1B – USC Commit and very impressive athlete for a 1B. Lefty arm throws 90+ MPH. Solid defender, good makeup and best pure HS hitter. Ceiling could be Adrian Gonzalez type.
3.) Trey Ball, HS, LHP/OF – 94 MPH fastball. More likely to start as a pitcher than an OF. Nice to have two options if he doesn’t work as a pitcher. Curveball projects well along with his 91-94 MPH fastball.
4.) Ryne Stanek, Arkansas, RHP – Reviews are mixed but generally good. Command seems to be a slight issue and doesn’t have great velo or an out pitch (slider is close). Nice frame and projects as a back end of the rotation starter with a #2-#3 starter as his ceiling.
5.) Hunter Renfroe, Mississippi St., OF – Toolsy OF with serious power and serious throwing arm. Throws 96+ MPH off the mound. He has been rising up the boards but really has only had one great year. Another toolsy guy who has to put them together. Would fit the description of a KW draft pick.
6.) Sean Manea, Indiana State, LHP – This is the draft-buster scenario. Manea was considered a Top 3 pick, until hip problems cropped up and caused some worry. He has leverage, as he can return to school if not drafted where he wants to be. If he’s available at 17, the Sox may roll the dice, but would need to plunk down Top 5 money to have a shot at signing him. That’s a lot of risk.
If you want to take a look at a listing of various mock drafts that have occurred, and who they show the Sox taking, check this out.
Keep your eyes on futuresox.com and the @futuresox Twitter account during the draft, to stay up to date on Sox picks. We’ll get information out as it happens.
And if you want to join the discussion, go to the FS Forum, where we will have thread(s) going during the draft!