Road map to White Sox 1st pick

At this point, it doesn’t even need to be said that this draft is an absolute mess. Teams are all tied to multiple players, top prospects seem homeless and a lot of teams are more concerned with saving money rather than taking the absolute best player. While this class lacks the elite top talent at the top, there is an abundance of high school talent that could be lured out of their college commitments. So picking at #10, the White Sox have a good chance at being able to land one of the top talents, a group that is largely considered to be eight or nine players deep.

In this piece, I am going to mock the first ten picks and go over all of the possibilities that have been heard. Of course, I am not an expert and I am not pretending to be. Some of the information used is from the pundits and major publications and some of the information I’ve obtained on my own accords.

 

1.) Phillies – OF Mickey Moniak  

Earlier in the week I was told Moniak to the Phillies was going to happen. Apparently his camp has gone completely rogue after there was a leak of sorts. Back when I first heard it, I was told that Moniak allowed the Phillies more excess funds than Florida’s AJ Puk would. I was told that the Phillies would turn around and sign California prep right-hand Kevin Gowdy, a Pat Gillick favorite at pick #42. Gowdy being taken at pick #42 was told to me by multiple to different people. Reggie Lawson, another Cali prep pitcher, is supposedly in play for the Phillies as well. The craziest scenario, which I was told about just this morning, was Blake Rutherford’s agent making a power play and the Phillies leaving Day 1 with the two best prep bats signing Moniak for 5 million and Rutherford for 4 million at pick #32. So obviously the Phillies have a lot to iron out here with plenty of options in place.

Others in play: LHP AJ Puk

2.) Reds – LHP AJ Puk

Both MLB.com draft pundits have been saying for weeks that Puk won’t get past the Reds at #2. Now, in their last mock draft today, both have the Reds taking Senzel with Puk on the board. I know the Reds are far more in need of bats than pitchers and I don’t have anything on the team specifically, so I am going to go with Puk just because it makes the rest of this easier on me.

Others in play: INF Nick Senzel

3.) Braves – RHP Ian Anderson

This has just gone public via Max Wildstein but this is a very hot rumor among those in draft circles. Anderson, like Moniak and the Phillies, would allow the Braves to spend just exorbitant amounts of money in the latter rounds. I haven’t been told of the Braves going to Rutherford specifically but they were frequently at his games and one of their scouts called him, “Yellich with power.” That’s quite the distinction and the signing of Anderson plus the extra picks they have would make drafting Rutherford later financially feasible.

This draft pick is a mess as the Braves have been everywhere and it really decides what’s going to follow in the draft, but I am going to go with this hot rumor that multiple people have relayed to me. If it’s not Anderson, supposedly they take Kyle Lewis. If Lewis doesn’t go here, a deep slide could ensue apparently.

Others in play: OF Kyle Lewis, INF Nick Senzel, OF Corey Ray, OF Blake Rutherford, LHP Jason Groome and RHP Riley Pint.

4.) Rockies – RHP Riley Pint

While they’ve popularly been tied to Moniak, I don’t see Moniak getting past 1-1 with the amount of deals the Phillies have in place as a result of Moniak’s savings. Pint is the perhaps the highest ceiling player in the draft and the Rockies can’t attract pitchers in free agency so Pint would allow them to get a potential front-of-the-rotation starter at pick #4.

AJ Puk hasn’t been looked at as a guy who’d be available here but you would think he’s in play if Reds go Senzel at pick #2.

Others in play: LHP Jason Groome, LHP AJ Puk and OF Kyle Lewis

5.) Brewers – OF Corey Ray

I am slotting Ray here but this is another pick that is really a crap shoot. This is contingent on the amount of money Ray will take as the Brewers are set on having extra money after their first pick.

One rumor that hasn’t really been brought to light but it makes a lot of sense to me is Zack Collins here with a huge discount. This would be way under slot with the Brewers young GM David Stearns using the extra funds to bring in high ceilings high schoolers. This is a very popular strategy given the spread of talent in the draft and the Brewers Scouting Director Ray Montgomery’s history with prep talent bodes well for this strategy.

The team was also very hot on Delvin Perez but that seems to have cooled after the failed drug test. They flew out Blake Rutherford last week for a private and another industry rumor is that he goes here.

If you’re a Sox fan who wants Corey Ray or Blake Rutherford, this is a big pick for you.

Others in play: OF Corey Ray, OF Blake Rutherford and 3B Josh Lowe.

6.) Athletics – 3B Nick Senzel

This is a dream scenario for the A’s. There’s not much smoke on them but Keith Law insists they’re out on Delvin Perez and Corey Ray. This is Senzel’s stopping point. There’s a very good chance he goes at #2 and maybe #3.

If Reds go Senzel at pick #2, AJ Puk would be the natural fit here. A’s are the stopper on either Puk or Senzel if one of them make it this far.

Others in play: OF Kyle Lewis, LHP AJ Puk and LHP Jason Groome.

7.) Marlins – LHP Braxton Garrett

This is maybe the most popular pick in the top ten. Garrett represents a high floor and high ceiling potential so it’s a nice play for the Marlins. Word is he wants 3.5 million. One of Miami’s beat writers have Corey Ray in play here too.

Others in play: LHP Jason Groome and OF Corey Ray.

8.) Padres – LHP Jason Groome

While most think if Groome falls this far, he doesn’t go until much later to the Braves or Phillies. In this case, Preller hops on one of the top talents in the whole draft. They would love a chance at Riley Pint and have been attached to Matt Manning and Cal Quantrill as well. This pick is another interesting one with the Padres looking to make the most out of their huge pool.

Others in play: RHP Riley Pint, RHP Matt Manning and RHP Cal Quantrill.

9.) Tigers – RHP Justin Dunn

Dunn is full of helium and could go even higher than most expect. Someone close to the situation said the Tigers think Dunn could pitch out of the bullpen this year for them. Keith Law mocked Rutherford here, but supposedly the Tigers stopped scouting Rutherford very early in the season according. They would be the stopper for Riley Pint who is very likely gone with the Rockies and Padres ahead of them. In this scenario, it will be interesting to see if they’d grab Kyle Lewis but for risk diversification purposes I’ll go Dunn where I know there is smoke.

Others in play: RHP Riley Pint, RHP Dakota Hudson and OF Corey Ray. 

10.) White Sox – OF Blake Rutherford

Sox have been on him early in the process and despite pundits not putting Rutherford and the Sox together in the last weeks, they just started to again today and yesterday. Given the Sox have very few leaks from their camp, the pundits typically just put the Sox wherever they hear there scouts are well represented. With Rutherford’s high school season ending earlier than college players, the connection was lost for the publications. The White Sox were frequents at Rutherford’s games with Kenny Williams seeing one of his best games and Scouting Director Nick Hostetler making multiple trips out to Southern California.

I’ve been told that Lewis could very well slip out of the top 10 which would obviously, if the rumor is true, include the Sox passing on him. He’s a swing-and-miss guy who could ultimately be reminiscent of failed draftees of Sox past.

I’ve heard the Sox were very much in on Justin Dunn last week but nothing of recent. Gavin Lux is another guy they’ve been all over and this would be the earliest he could go but it would be a shocker if he were available at #26. Zack Collins has been scouted heavily by the team. Despite that, I had been told the Sox were not big on him and Keith Law reported the same this morning. In what would be a relative shocker, I will throw Cody Sedlock’s name into the ring.

I also heard yesterday that Rutherford would be going #14 to the Indians where another source said there’s no way he falls that far. Rutherford is the true wild card in this draft but in this scenario, I have the Sox taking the prep talent.

Others in play: OF Corey Ray, SP Justin Dunn, RHP Cody Sedlock, SS Gavin Lux and C Zack Collins

OTHER PREDICTIONS

#11 – Mariners take Zack Collins

#17 – Astros take Cody Sedlock

#42- Phillies take Kevin Gowdy/Reggie Lawson

Filed under: Draft Coverage

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