Chicago White Sox 2020 MLB Draft Preview

Chicago White Sox
Spread the love

The Chicago White Sox showed commitment to contend this offseason by adding some notable big-name players from the market. Despite the spending surge this offseason, General Manager Rick Hahn will take all usual precautions for the 2020 MLB draft. Usual precautions include taking a prospect that will be, hopefully, formed into a major leaguer with the Sox.

The 2018 draft saw Nick Madrigal go to the southside, which is turning out to be an absolute gem of a pick. Last year’s draft pick, highly touted University Of California first baseman Andrew Vaughn, also churned out a respectable season between three minor league levels in 2019. Hahn is hoping to replicate that success in this year’s draft as well, despite picking later than usual.

COVID-19 Shortened Draft

Major League Baseball has already decided to shorten the MLB draft. This decision comes after COVID-19 caused all live sports to be put on hold, and the internal issues within MLB and the MLBPA. This year’s draft will consist of only five rounds, a drastic decrease from the usual 40. The league and players association also chose to shorten the 2021 draft to 20 rounds as an extra precaution.

White Sox Draft Picks

First Round: Pick 11. Second Round: Pick 47. Third Round: Pick 83.

Possible Selections In The First Round

The Sox have loads of pressure to draft well. Only having three picks narrows down the player pool to only the best in the country worthy of selection. Some examples of players that might hear their names called 11th overall could be:

C Patrick Bailey, North Carolina State

Bailey, the 17th overall prospect according to MLB.com, is a 21-year-old switch-hitting catcher. A career .302 hitter in college, Bailey slapped six home runs in only 17 games this spring. He totaled 13 home runs in 54 games his freshman season and 10 home runs in 60 games his sophomore season. Bailey has all of the raw potential to be a great hitter, and also adds excellent catching ability behind the plate, notably his game-calling.

OF Heston Kjerstad, Arkansas

Kjerstad is a 21-year-old outfielder from Arkansas and is ranked as the 10th best prospect in this year’s draft. In a shortened 2020 season, he hit .448 with six home runs and a 1.340 OPS in 16 games. Aside from being a career .343 hitter with only 54 strikeouts in 150 games with Arkansas, Kjerstad also added 37 home runs in his collegiate career. The ceiling as a hitter for Kjerstad is very high, and he would be a great addition if available at number 11.

RHP Max Meyer, Minnesota

Meyer is another collegiate star expected to go early in the draft. The 21-year-old right-hander has posted a lower ERA in every season he’s played college ball — 2.27 in 2018, 2.11 in 2019, and 1.95 in 2020 (albeit in only 4 starts). He adds a college career SO/9 of 11.4 along with 15.0 in 2020 alone. Meyer whiffs hitters with a 100-MPH fastball and a wipeout slider.

Second Round

RHP Alex Santos, Mt. St, Michaels High School (NY)

Santos enters the draft as the 56th best prospect. The Maryland commit mainly works with a low 90’s fastball, a very disciplined slider, and a developing changeup. Santos topped out at 95 mph according to the scouting service, Perfect Game USA, which ranks him in the 99th percentile of high school pitchers nationally.

RHP Kyle Nicolas, Ball State

Nicolas is ranked as the 60th overall draft prospect. His career numbers at Ball State don’t scream second-round pick (an NCAA career ERA of 5.12), but Nicolas makes up for that with his fastball. The MLB scouting scale (20-80), ranks his fastball as a 70, with a max velocity of 100+ mph, and an average of 95-98 mph. A pick like this would be risky but could end up providing the Sox with a flame-throwing reliever.

3B Gage Workman, Arizona State

Workman ranks 73rd on the top draft prospects list and is an interesting bundle of talent. With an NCAA career batting average of .296, Workman made a name for himself in 2019, hitting .330. His knack for getting on base (30 BB, .413 OBP), combined with his love for singles (49) makes for great contact potential.

Third Round

OF Chase Davis, Franklin HS (CA)

The 83rd ranked prospect is described as a powerful and athletic outfielder from the high school ranks. His MLB scouting scale says he has a 70 rated arm along with a 55 rated run and power. His power and speed potential make him an enticing choice, but his Arizona commitment may come into play in the negotiation war room.

OF Jake Vogel, Huntington Beach High School (CA)

Vogel is the 82nd ranked draft prospect with a strong scouting report. His 70 run rating on the MLB scouting scale is worth noting and he is well rounded in most other categories. His 50 hit and 40 power provide a start to developing his bat, while his 50 field and 60 arm do the same in the outfield.

LHP Sam Weatherly, Clemson

Weatherly is a fierce left-hander from Clemson University. The 85th ranked draft prospect excelled at striking out hitters in 2019, averaging 14.1 strikeouts per 9 innings. Despite an RA9 of 4.30 in 21 games, Weatherly donned a 0.79 ERA in 4 starts in 2020, along with 43 strikeouts. Weatherly mainly uses a slider to get hitters out, but also has a mid 90’s fastball and a developing changeup.

What To Expect

The confusion and discussions surrounding the draft make it hard to determine. The shortened college season and almost completely vacated high school season will make the draft process difficult. The Sox have some great options at each pick but have to keep budget in mind. The balance of all of these issues as well as the limited draft size will lay heavy on the White Sox front office.

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images