2014 MLB Draft: Newest projections call Tyler Kolek a mock lock for White Sox

Financial considerations create plenty of uncertainty at top of draft boards

We're entering the final week of the pre-draft process, which theoretically means that the possibilities should be narrowed down at the top of the board. Sure enough, there's a lot of agreement over who the White Sox are likely to take with the third pick ... although everybody can agree on a wrong answer. The experts are allowing for the possibility, because nobody seems to have a great feel for who might go with the first two picks.

White Sox Draft Possibility Profiles

The consensus among best guesses leads the Sox back to Tyler Kolek. Let's start with Baseball America's John Manuel, who has the Sox picking the Texas flamethrower after Brady Aiken and Alex Jackson came off the board:

The talk to this point has been that the White Sox would not pass on Rodon if he were available here. That talk persists, but so do the rumors linking Chicago to outsized Texas high school flamethrower Tyler Kolek. The Cubs are watching closely because while Kolek is not a Cubs target, Rodon is. The White Sox have a bigger bonus pool than the Cubs, but Rodon likely would eat up more of it.

Scout.com's Kiley McDaniel draws the same conclusion, although he has the Marlins taking Rodon before the Sox have the chance.

There are also a number of rumors flying about this pick. Nola is an underslot candidate while I've heard the White Sox both hate and love Kolek from various sources. Jeff Hoffman was the guy they wanted and the heavy hitters were at most of Tyler Beede's starts down the stretch, but neither makes sense this high. Again, the industry still strongly believes the three pitchers go 1-2-3 and I haven't heard enough to peg a potential underslot candidate here to break that up.

Thirding the motion is MLB Draft Insider. Chris Crawford, who assists with ESPN.com's MLB Draft coverage, also has three pitchers in three picks:

I wouldn’t call this a lock, but if the draft went this way, I would be stunned if Kolek wasn’t a member of the White Sox organization. If it doesn’t, I think they’d probably go Aiken over Rodon, with Aaron Nola a non-zero possibility.

Keith Law hasn't released a new mock draft since the last round-up, but he touched on the first three picks in his most recent chat, saying he thinks Kolek will be available for the White Sox if they want him:

Tony (Chicago): Keith - any Chance Kolek goes 1 or 2? If so, who do the Sox look at at 3? Do they just take the last of the big 3 (Aiken-Rodon-Kolek)?

Klaw  (2:54 PM): Don't see it. Anything is possible in the new system because of the importance of getting the "right" price on a player, but I think he's no higher than 4th on Houston's or Miami's boards.

Minor League Ball hosted its community mock draft, and if you missed the FanPost, Chisox1023 wrapped up who he selected for the Sox over the first four rounds. The third pick?

Pick 1.3 - NC LHP Carlos Rodon

With the first pick Houston took Aiken, and then Miami took Alex Jackson. This pretty much was the dream scenario for me other than maybe getting Aiken to fall, so I quickly scooped up Rodon. Rodon could be a staple in the rotation for years to come.

Star-divide

Podcast: Draft blowout

The upcoming episode of the South Side Sox podcast will be a supersized spectacular, featuring plenty of draft talk with a couple of special guests.

If you haven't already subscribed, you can await its arrival a few different ways:

iTunes: Here's a link to the page. (Already an iTunes subscriber? It sure would be great if you could leave a review, as it helps surface the podcast on rankings and searches.)

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RSS: Plug the RSS feed into your reader of choice.

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