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White Sox Draft Recap

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It just occurred to me, thanks to comments in the previous thread, that today is an off-day. There will be no gamethread for me to forget to post. So, I suppose I should write something. Anything.

How about a quick recap of the '08 draft? No? Too bad. Here it is.

White Sox 2008 Draft Class

  1. Gordon Beckham -- After holding out until the final week before the deadline, Beckham showed no signs of rust in his first games as a pro, going 7-11 with a HR in his first 3 games. He hit a rough patch (1-25) late to drop his line to .310/.365/.500 in 58 at-bats. He should start the '09 season in Winston-Salem at the lowest, but could open as high as AA if pushed. I expect him to finish the season in B'ham.

  2. Jordan Danks -- While Danks was the Sox 7th round pick in the '08 draft, I'm listing him here because he got the second-richest bonus. For all intents and purposes, he was their second round pick. Danks, like Beckham, found quick success in Kannapolis, starting his pro career with a 6-game hitting streak. He closed the season with a .325/.400/.625 line with 2 HR and 7 extra-base hits in his 40 at-bats.

    Of serious concern though, is his alarming strikeout total of 14. Scouts have been disappointed that Danks didn't show the power growth that they expected at the collegiate level, but I was never concerned. He'll hit his HR in the majors, but only if he shows some growth in his contact skills.

    This isn't an issue that can be explained away by small sample size either. He had a similar strikeout rate to Texas teammate Kyle Russell, who fell in the draft each of the last two seasons because of concerns about his contact skills, and had what I would consider a high K total for semi-pro ball (though I have no clue where to find those stats again. Larry?).

  3. Brent Morel -- I wasn't thrilled with this pick based largely on the low walk-rate demonstrated by Morel in college. He quickly proved that he was too advanced for rookie-ball and settled in nicely with the first two in Kannapolis. While I didn't like the numbers on Morel, I could see what the Sox scouts saw of him in his video. His swing looks more major league ready than Danks or Beckham, short and compact, and should allow him to hit for a high average throughout the minor leagues. He's showed a respectable eye in low-A, but the lack of discipline he showed in college allow with his limited power figure to relegate him to utility player status in the majors (in my extremely premature estimation). He's said to have a plus glove, so any improvements in walk rate or power potential could turn him into starter material.

  4. Drew O'Neil -- O'Neil posted some gaudy numbers as the Penn State closer thanks to his funky delivery and extreme groundball inducing ability. He's been able to carry over the groundballs and strikeouts, but his control hasn't been up to par. I expected O'Neil to move very quickly through the system (and he still could), but his first 30 innings were a huge disappointment.

  5. Daniel Hudson -- A bit of a sleeper, Hudson, like Cassell of a couple years ago has good but not great stuff across the board, a low 90's fastball and a average-to-plus curve. He's something of a young Javier Vazquez in that he has continued to post high strikeout and low walk totals, but has been unable to prevent runs from crossing the plate as much as you would expect.

  6. Ken Williams -- He's kinda fast, but so is Kent Gerst. I never saw any news on an injury, but he didn't see any game action since late June. I'd rather just assume he was injured and not the alternative, that the Great Falls coaching staff decided he was worthless after 11 games of .114/.279/.229.

  7. Steven Upchurch -- I know, I'm going out of order again, but this is about where Upchurch fits in based on bonus received. He was ranked as the top prospect in the state of Alabama by Baseball America, and was thought to be about a 3rd round talent, though the Sox got him for 5-6th round money. Upchurch has a projectable body, and already boasts a low-90's fastball. I wouldn't be surprised to see him start in Kanny next year, but even if he doesn't it won't be too much of a disappointment because of his age and upside.

  8. Dexter Carter -- Out of order again, but Carter is the last notable player the Sox drafted, at least as far as I'm concerned. Carter was a college teammate of Hudson, and has posted remarkably similar numbers, maybe even better than Hudson, at Great Falls. I'd call it another steal in the 13th round, but last draft's steal Sergio Miranda wasn't exactly lighting up the minors this season.

There you go. Now you have a place to bitch about Nick Punto and Kenny Williams Jr in one neat little thread.