The draft is finished and most of the players have signed. A few of them even made their professional debuts in Great Falls’ season opener last night. With that in mind, three FutureSox writers, Matt Cassidy, Jeff Buchanan and myself, gave input on a series of draft topics to discuss some of the new White Sox prospects.
First off, we discuss our favorite pick. Obviously Carlos Rodon was everyone’s favorite pick. The No. 3 overall pick is the clear No. 1 prospect in the system as soon as he signs. What about the guys after that? Is it as simple as saying the next guy the Sox drafted, Spencer Adams? (Spoiler: it is)
Dan: Spencer Adams
Maybe this is the easy way out going with the next Sox pick after Rodon, but Adams also had the talent to be taken higher in the draft. Any time you can get a player outside the first round labeled as a ‘first round talent’ by multiple sources, you have to take advantage of that. Adams’ selection is a bit similar to Chris Beck’s in the second round in 2011. Beck was thought to be a potential top 10 pick before sliding after a disappointing junior season of college ball and the Sox snatched him up in the second round. The White Sox also took a high school pitcher in the second round of last year’s draft, Tyler Danish, and that seems to be working out well so far. Adams’ combination of a low-to-mid 90s fastball and a good slider in a four-pitch arsenal makes him a rare breed for a high school pitcher.
Matt: Spencer Adams
Taking the second round pick as a favorite after the first round pick seems too easy, so I tried to find a reason to like a later pick more. But I couldn’t. Adams brings a low-mid 90s fastball with good command, a mid 80s slider that multiple people have labeled plus, and a good pitching frame. The fact that he played three sports at a high level in high school makes him more impressive, as he would likely be helped further by focusing solely on baseball. His profile as a pick in the 20s or 30s overall from most publications hints at this, and the fact that the Sox signed him for slot in the high second round (44th) means they got a “deal.” The only negative I’ve seen, about some delivery inconsistently, is exactly the type of thing that can be helped with some professional, focused instruction in an organization that has generally excelled at developing raw pitchers.
Jeff: Spencer Adams
Likewise I think Spencer Adams is the obvious pick here. Not only getting someone universally ranked as a first round talent at #44, but also signing him for slot, seems like an absolute steal. He was the top name on my board/wish list entering the second round. I had been expecting the Sox to take a lower profile guy in the second round to offset Rodon’s potential over-slot demands, so it was a very pleasant surprise to hear Adams’ name called. He will need plenty of time to develop, but the potential is there for him to become a front line starter thanks to his plus, or better, fastball/slider combo. He offers a very different profile to last year’s second rounder Tyler Danish, with Adams bringing a lot more projection and upside, but also much less polish. I considered ninth rounder Brian Clark here, who I like, just to be different, but ultimately could not justify it over Adams.
Stick with us over the next couple weeks as we continue to break down different topics from the White Sox 2014 draft and I promise we will come up with different answers from each other next time.