2014 MLB Draft: Carlos Rodon to White Sox in mocks, but Aaron Nola lurking

USA TODAY Sports

Newest speculation has White Sox honing in on college pitchers with third pick

The last round of mock drafts and speculation had the White Sox choosing whichever pitcher from the Big Three -- Carlos Rodon, Brady Aiken and Tyler Kolek -- made it to them. Prep catcher/outfielder Alex Jackson was presented as a position-player option, but only to cover that particular base.

Since then, a new pitcher has emerged as a possibility: LSU right-hander Aaron Nola. Keith Law connected him to the White Sox earlier in the week:

He followed up in his chat by saying he's "only hearing [Sox] really on Kolek and Nola right now."

UPDATE (2:10 p.m.): Dan Hayes just shot down Law's report this afternoon:

So there may not be any smoke to this. Nola is markedly different from the troika of top arms, in that he's a college righty who is considered to be as close to the majors as anybody. That brings to mind other high-floor picks, such as the one-two punch of Lance Broadway and Kyle McCulloch, but Nola's arsenal sounds more imposing:

Scouts behind home plate said they saw exactly what they always see from Nola. He ran his fastball up to 95-96 mph in the first, settled in at 92-94 and held that velocity all the way through the eighth inning. He threw his 79-81 mph slider for strikes, and the pitch was particularly effective when he threw it on the inside corner against righthanded hitters, because his low slot, extension and the depth of the pitch make it look like it’s coming right at them, before crossing the plate. And he mixed in his 83-84 mph changeup effectively, often for groundball outs against lefties. As usual his command of his entire repertoire was pinpoint after that first inning.

When asked if Nola would be a mistake that high in his chat, Law said no, based on the strength of his fastball command.

That said, the Nola momentum isn't so strong as to alter mock drafts yet. Baseball America's John Manuel released his third version on Friday, with the Sox taking Rodon at No. 3 after Aiken (Astros) and Jackson (Marlins) went off the board.

Likewise, Jim Callis (formerly of BA) released his first mock draft for MLB.com, and he comes to the same conclusion -- Aiken, Jackson, then ...

3. White Sox: Carlos Rodon, LHP, North Carolina State
Chicago almost certainly will take a pitcher, with a preference for college arms and Rodon No. 1 on its list. If Rodon is gone, the White Sox could pass on Aiken and Kolek and opt for Louisiana State right-hander Aaron Nola.

That pick seems to lean on a time-tested preference -- the Sox don't take prep pitchers in the first round -- but in the process, it conflicts with another (the Sox' aversion to dealing with Scott Boras). He addressed this on Twitter:

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join South Side Sox

You must be a member of South Side Sox to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at South Side Sox. You should read them.

Join South Side Sox

You must be a member of South Side Sox to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at South Side Sox. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker