2016 MLB Draft - Final Primer for White Sox fans

The 2016 MLB Draft is nearly upon us. We’ve been producing profile pieces on a number of high school and college prospects that have been linked to the White Sox for their first two picks in the draft, tweeting out tidbits of intel we’ve heard, and preparing you for the event. Soon, the main event begins.

So, here’s a quick primer and overview, with all the details you’ll need going in. It’s your White Sox draft cheat sheet. And of course, make sure to bookmark our award-winning Draft Tracker, where we will give you up-to-the minute reports on who the South Siders have selected.

When and where is the Draft?

The 2016 MLB Rule 4 First Year Player Draft will take place over three days. The first two rounds (including the supplemental rounds) occur on Thursday, June 9th, beginning at 6pm CT. Rounds 3 through 10 will start at noon CT on Friday the 10th. And finally, the speed round, for rounds 11 to 40, is on Saturday starting at 11:00am CT.

The Thursday night portion will be carried live on the MLB Network. On Friday and Saturday, you can follow the White Sox picks on our Draft Tracker. You can also see the draft for all teams on the MLB.com Draft Tracker, but they won’t have the detail specifically on White Sox picks that our tracker will have.

You should also follow us on Twitter (@FutureSox), as we will tweet out each pick when they happen, and provide links to reports and other tidbits.

What picks do the White Sox have?

The White Sox have a first round pick at 10th overall, a supplemental pick at 26th, and a 2nd round pick at 49th. Having those three picks among the first fifty is a big deal, and will go a long way to helping add talent depth to the system. They will have the 10th pick in each round from 3rd on to the end.

White Sox beat writer Dan Hayes of Comcast Sportsnet tweeted the following estimates for the White Sox first draft picks.

The team has a total draft pool of $9,416,600, 7th highest among all teams. This is the total amount of bonus dollars the team is allowed to spend on all picks in the first ten rounds, as well as any money above $100,000 per player for rounds 11 to 40. If they go over the pool, there is a penalty range in which the team will pay a luxury tax of sorts on top of their bonus spending, up to 5% over pool. Carlos Rodon pushed the Sox into that penalty range in 2014, so it is not unprecedented for this club. Any spending beyond that band however, and the team would have to sacrifice picks and bonus money in future years, which is not something the White Sox will even consider (and in fact no team has done it in the current rule structure). You can see all the target slot values of each pick in the first ten rounds here.

What players have been linked to the White Sox lately?

We have profiled nine potential draft targets, all of whom have been discussed by sources “in the know” as being players the White Sox have been eyeing for potential picks. Here are links to all those profiles, so you can read up on each:

C Zack Collins, Miami
RHP Dakota Hudson, Mississippi State
LHP Braxton Garrett, Florence HS (Alabama)
RHP Cody Sedlock, Illinois
RHP Robert Tyler, Georgia
OF Corey Ray, Louisville
LHP Eric Lauer, Kent State
OF Blake Rutherford, Chaminade HS (California)
RHP Justin Dunn, Boston College
SS Gavin Lux, Indian Trail HS (Wisconsin)

What are the latest reports telling us?

The names associated with pick #10 that have the most smoke from the pundits around the Sox are Ray and Collins. The under-reported names in consideration are Rutherford and Dunn. While Scouting Director Nick Hostetler would love a chance at Tennessee’s Nick Senzel, it doesn’t seem all that likely given the surfeit of teams in front of the Sox who like Senzel. Jim Callis had speculated the White Sox jump on surging prep shortstop Gavin Lux at #10 now that it doesn’t seem likely he’ll be available at #26, and that’s certainly an outcome worth considering given the team’s fondness for the prep shortstop. Especially when you consider the Sox are probably the earliest possibility for the Kenosha native. The recent news of Delvin Perez (a once-likely a Top 5 pick) failing a PED test has thrown a wrench into the plans of the White Sox, who weren’t figured to be a player for the Puerto Rican but who’s board is effected indirectly. As in any draft, but maybe more so in this one, the White Sox are subjected to the forces in front of them.

There are conflicting reports on the White Sox’ interest in Collins, and he’s a real possibility, but our sources seem to be pointing away from the catcher. The team has been impressed with outfielders Ray and Rutherford and for good reason, as the two seem to be the most polished college and prep bats respectively. While their talents would lead you to believe that the two go before the Sox make their first selection, neither has a highly speculated landing spot. Dunn, perhaps the most helium-filled prospect in the draft, has also been under surveillance of the White Sox who are doing the huge amount of due diligence that the tenth pick in this draft requires.

At 26th it’s obviously going to be more fuzzy, but one of the college arms in the above list of profiles seems plausible, especially if the Sox were to select a prep prospect like Rutherford at 10. While the White Sox remain set on the best player available, the financial implications give credence to the idea that their first pick effects the second.

While it’s tough to project anything past the compensation pick, we have been given this bit on a potential second or third round pick. White Sox scouts rolled deep at the MAC tournament and most assumed it was to see Kent State’s Eric Lauer, who the Sox have scouted from the get-go, but one source says the White Sox were looking at Western Michigan left-hander Keegan Akin.

Stay tuned, and make sure to bookmark our Draft Tracker when it goes up on Thursday!

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Filed under: Draft Coverage

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