After briefly flashing to the lead as they made the turn for home, the White Sox have removed themselves from the money in the Pedro Alvarez Derby. They won't even show or place. Their hot September -- "hot" is a relative term -- has them staring down a 2008 draft pick somewhere in the 4-10 range, a position the Sox haven't found themselves in since 1990 when they selected Alex Fernandez 4th overall.
In fact, the last 4 times the White Sox have selected in the top 10 they've made some famously fabulous draft picks; Fernandez (4th overall in 1990), Frank Thomas (7th overall in 1989), Robin Ventura (10th overall in 1988), and Jack McDowell (5th overall in 1987).
Faced with the daunting task of being expected to produce a similar talent from the upcoming draft, the White Sox dispatched their online mouthpiece to lower your expectations.
Let's see what he had to say.
What do those picks have to do with the White Sox or 2008 draft? Merkin explains the connection (to the White Sox at least) after a thousand words about how the draft is a crapshoot, an expensive crapshoot. Of course, I looked it up before I even reached paragraph two...
Merchant was the 2nd overall pick (ahead of McDowell) for the Pirates in '87, Griffin was the 9th overall pick (one ahead of Ventura) for the Cubs in '88, and Jackson was 4th overall pick (ahead of Thomas) for the Phillies in '89, in case you were wondering]
When Merkin finally lets loose the identities of the mystery men, it's almost as if he's saying, "Hey, it's OK. The Sox have been here before. They'll make the right choice."
Not mentioned in the article is the fact that the White Sox will most likely lose their second round pick when they pick up a 'Type A' free agent this off-season in an attempt to make a run at mediocrity. The Sox will have zero departing 'Type A' free agents -- not that they would have offered them arbitration anyways (they've let the last three walk without compensation) -- likely leaving them with just 2 picks in the top 100 for the second year in a row.
So do you're homework White Sox. By the time the draft rolls around, you'll have known for a year that you were going to have a top 10 pick. You should have the budget to sign anyone you want thanks to the money saved by losing your second round pick. I expect to be wowed by your new devotion to higher-ceilinged players and new dedication to scouting.
I'm expecting nothing but the best. No, I'm accepting nothing but the best, no matter how many cautionary tales I hear.