The White Sox seem to have stuck with their rumored plan of drafting a college pitcher with their first round pick in the 2010 MLB Draft. Sale fell to the Sox, as almost every mock draft had him not making it past the 10th pick. Sounds like a good thing right? I was still hoping Grandal would fall to us, but I'm happy with the choice of Sale. Think of all the terrible puns writers now have to work with!
Sale is 6'5", 21 years old (3/30/89), and weighs 175 lbs. He was originally drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 21st round back in 2007, but chose to go to college instead. This past season he threw 103 innings. How did he do in those? He won 11 games, lost 0, had a 2.01 ERA, 2 saves, gave up 83 hits, 6 homeruns, 14 walks (!), and struck out 146 hitters. Wow.
But the numbers only say so much. Andy Seiler*, of MLB Bonus Baby, had this to say about Sale:
Chris Sale is a tall, lanky left-handed pitcher from Florida Gulf Coast University. Sale came to Florida Gulf
Coast from Lakeland High School in Lakeland, Florida, the school that fellow Draft Notebook prospects
Yordy Cabrera and Eric Arce attend as high school players this year. Sale was a solid prospect with big
projectability in high school, but his current stuff was rather short, and the Rockies justifiably took him in
the twenty-first round of the 2007 draft. He didn’t sign, and he headed to a small school that has since
transitioned to Division 1 status. After pitching fairly well in the bullpen as a freshman, he graduated to
the rotation as a sophomore, having gained a few ticks on his fastball between the two years. The
success he had as a sophomore was carried over on to the Cape, where he was the best pitching
prospect in the league, vaulting him to likely first round status. With a second dominating year in the
rotation, he’s cemented himself as one of the top pitchers available, and he has upside as a number two
starter. His fastball is a plus pitch that generally sits 91-94, touching 96, and he commands it with plus
precision. He gets a lot of life on it due to his three-quarters release point, and it’s one of the best lefthanded
fastballs in this class. His best secondary pitch is a plus changeup with excellent depth and fade,
and it’s a Major League-ready pitch. His third pitch is an average slider that isn’t commanded nearly as
well, and there are concerns about his inability to spin a breaking ball. However, with his track record of
success and the attrition of other pitchers in this class, he is a likely top ten pick, where he should sign in
the neighborhood of slot money.
So yeah, it looks like the White Sox made a pretty solid choice with their pick based on who was available.
*And since Andy was nice enough to provide us with this info, it only seems fair to give his book The 2010 MLB Draft Notebook a shout-out. It's only $9.99 and covers the top 750 prospects from this year's draft.