It's not exactly a secret that the White Sox have the worst farm system in baseball. John Sickels recently said that very thing. What piqued my interest was a combination of a conversation I had with Colin and this line from the esteemed Mr. Sickels.*
Hitting is a disaster. I like Tyler Saladino but I have huge doubts about their other hitting prospects.
Colin brought up the excellent point that the washout rate for pitchers in the White Sox farm system seems to be much lower than that of other teams, but for whatever reason we can't develop hitters. With that in mind, I would be thrilled if the White Sox focused more heavily on hitting this June. Since the team hasn't used their first pick on a high school player since local product Kris Honel back in 2001, it seems reasonable to expect them to draft from the college ranks yet again. That lets me use this fantastic list that Matt Garrioch put together. Since the Sox have the 13th pick, there is little to no chance that Deven Marrero or Michael Zunino will be playing on the South Side any time soon. So since we miss out on the current top two hitters (and do keep in mind this is very early and things are bound to change), here are a few players I would be excited to hear have their name called on my birthday.Victor Roache: Roache is my number once choice. The outfielder from Georgia Southern led all NCAA players in homeruns last season with 30, even with the new bat policy being introduced. He projects as a right fielder with average to slightly above average defensive tools. His main draw is easily his bat. Look at this ridiculous bat speed.
Terrifying! Thanks to the large amount of first round high school talent available this year, Roache could fall to the 13th pick. The dropoff in college hitting talent after Roache is fairly substantial.
Adam Bret Walker: The junior outfielder for Jacksonville University hails from Milwaukee. While he lacks Roache's power potential, he's by no means a slap-hitter. Walker has hit 29 homeruns over the past two seasons while posting a 1.110 OPS. He's thrown in 21 steals over that same period, but it's hard to get too excited about that low of a total (Gordon Beckham stole 17 his last year at Georgia).
Stephen Piscotty: Standford's third baseman is a much different hitter than Roache or Walker. Piscotty strikes out less while hitting for a higher average. He doesn't profile to have much more than gap power though, with a 15 homerun ceiling seeming likely. The early reports on his defense have been good. Piscotty should still be around by the time the Mark Buehrle compensation pick kicks in.
If Roache is gone, my interest in the pick wains rather heavily.
*I have a hard time not being a stalker every time I go to Lawrence. The main thing stopping me is that I don't have enough questions to ask the man to make it worth his time.