Chicago White Sox: A Decade Of Hits And Misses In The 1st Round
The MLB draft is by far the toughest. SO MANY MISSES!!! This was a painful article to write because except for Chris Sale, all are busts or too young to tell. I’m hoping some of these recent picks can show something really soon.
Let’s take a look at the #1 picks for the White Sox the last ten years. Some hits some misses some still up in the air. The Sox are in a rebuild mode so these kids in the minors should be licking their lips knowing that the kids will be called up here soon.
2013 – Tim Anderson: a 20 year old shortstop from Alabama. In single A this year he stole 21 bases only being caught 4 times. Not much power but his .331 OBP isn’t too bad for a rookie in A ball. He has wheels, he stole 40+ bases in college however due to injury he ended up playing at a Division 2 program. He is considered to have good range but an average arm. A potential move to 2b or OF could be in his future. He is raw and athletic, makes good contact and is speedy. Doesn’t project as a power hitter right now, think Ichiro. TBD
2012 – Courtney Hawkins: a power hitting outfielder who this year has come into his own from a power standpoint just need to work on that average a bit. When drafted he was described as having an explosive bat and put up huge numbers in High School for what that’s worth. He has 19 homers and 62 rbi in 92 games this year along with 8 stolen bases, however his average is .188 and his OBP is .257. He was the Texas Gatorade player of the year in 2012 so he has potential, time will tell. TBD
2011 – Keenyn Walker: a switch hitting OF from Salt Lake City who had a nice 2012 but his 2013 slipped. In 2012 he hit .267 with a .378 obp and 56 stolen bases. However 2013 saw his average dip to .202. The White Sox didn’t have a 1st round pick then took Walker as a compensatory pick #47. He is a highly athletic kid with plus-plus speed. He was drafted in 2010 and 2009 but kept jumping back to College. If he can work on his contact to use his speed a little better you never know what might happen. TBD
2010 – Chris Sale: WINNER WINNER!! By the end of 2010 the wisp of a player was already in the majors. He is 6’6” tall but only weighs 180 pounds. His career ERA in the bigs is 2.85 and he appeared in the All Star game this year. He was just signed to a club friendly extension so he should be here for a while. The knock on him is his size. This kid is 9 inches taller than me and only has an extra 20 pounds on me. When you watch him pitch he looks like he is going to break in half. He also has the dreaded W form which has taken many victims to Tommy John land. The 2010 top 15 is fairly stacked, Bryce Harper was #1, Manny Machado was #3, Matt Harvey was #7, and Sale was #13.
2009 – Jared Mitchell: a 6 foot outfielder from Louisiana. Clock is ticking on this pick. After year 1 he has never hit over .237, his high in homers is 11, his high in SB is 20. This year he has 5 homers and 15sb however he is hitting .165. Looking like a bust so far. If he can manage to stay healthy maybe his fortunes will change. In 2010 he tore a tendon and missed a whole year, he has also bounced from AAA to AA and back. If he can find consistency the White Sox will give him his shot, they still hold him in high regard. At least he can tell his kids he was drafted 2 spots ahead of Mike Trout (ouch)! The 2009 draft had Strasburg first, Dustin Ackley 2nd, Shelby Miller all taken in front of him. Mike Trout, Nick Franklin, and Tanner Scheppers taken after him.
2008 – Gordon Beckham: was selected with the 8th pick by the White Sox whom originally drafted him as a SS but moved him to 2B as the White Sox already had Alexei Ramirez at SS. His results have been up and down. He spent less than 2 years in the minors. Early in 2009 he got the call and played 103 games in the bigs. In those 103 games he hit a respectable .270 with a .347 obp. To go along with that he hit 14 homers and stole 7 bags. White Sox fans were dreaming of a 20/20 player to enjoy for years to come. His jersey was a hot seller and his name lit up the talk radio here in Chicago. Since then he has cooled down at the plate. He hit 9, 10 and 16 homers the next three years, never cracking double digits in steals and his average was never over .255. In 74 games in 2013 he has his avg at .296 with a .346 obp however he got himself hurt and missed all of May and most of April. His defense has been great to make up for his sleepy bat. Here’s to hoping he can bring it together on both sides of the game.
2007 – Aaron Poreda: was taken 25th that year. A six foot six pitcher from California, who has had a small amount of success in the majors however he has bounced around a bit. In 2009 he pitched 13 innings for the White Sox as a reliever, he had a 2.70 ERA and picked up a win. Later in 2009 he was traded to the Padres in the Jake Peavy deal. At the end of 2011 he was taken in the Rule 5 draft by Pittsburgh. After spending 2012 in Pittsburgh’s minor league system posting a decent 2.70 era in 3 starts however he was released by Pittsburgh in March of 2013 and hasn’t been picked up. Players taken after him early in 2007, Rick Porcello, Ben Revere, Todd Frazier, Josh Donaldson.
2006 – Kyle McCulloch: was drafted with the 29th pick by the White Sox , a 6 foot 3 inch pitcher from Houston Texas. He bounced all over the minors over a 6 year span. He was a stud in college (aren’t they all) but his career era in AA was 4.99 however due to his high pick status he was given every chance to succeed. His career AAA era is 5.37 thus ending his career. He hasn’t pitched in the minors since 2011 and appears to have called it quits. Players taken after him in 2006, Joba Chamberlain, Chris Perez, Trevor Cahill.
2005 – Lance Broadway: This is getting painful to look at. With the 15th pick the White Sox select a 6 foot 3 inch pitcher from Dallas Texas (are all pitchers from Texas?) Lance Broadway. Over the years he was given a couple shots at the majors but it never worked. In 55 total innings he tallied 2 wins and a 5.24 era. Players taken after him in 2005, Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buchholz, Matt Garza.
2004 – Josh Fields: Oh this has to end, in 2004 the White Sox selected with the 18th pick, Joshua Dean Fields. In 2007 he did get a long look at 3b and responded fairly well with 23 homers in 100 games. However when handed the starting job in 2008 he was so bad they sent him down after 14 games. They gave him another shot in 2009 however the results were not much better. He appears to be one of those AAAA players as his AAA average is .300 with a .375 obp, however in the bigs he is sporting a .234 avg with a .303 obp. He is still hanging in there for the Phillies AAA team at 30 years old. Players taken after him in 2004, Trevor Plouffe, Seth Smith, Phil Hughes, Huston Street.
BHC Pick Of The Litter: Chris Sale
BHC Frnachise Flop: Kyle McCulloch