Continuing our overviews of potential White Sox draft picks ...
Who is Brady Aiken?
Aiken is a left-handed pitcher from Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego, and he might be one of the more advanced prep pitchers you'll see, both in terms of refinement and physical projection (6'3", 210 lbs.). He has a commitment to UCLA.
How does he rank?
What's his game?
Aiken recently gained a jump in velocity, ramping up his fastball from 88-91 mph to 92-94, topping out at 97. MLB.com says it features "both run and sink." On top of that, Baseball America said his curveball developed into a "silly good" offering this spring, "a 77-78 hammer with depth and sharp bite." His changeup is said to be a legit third pitch, even if behind his fastball and curve, and he's been toying around with a harder breaking ball that some call a slider and others call a cutter.
What does he look like?
Why would the White Sox draft him?
A high school left-handed pitcher hasn't been selected in the first five picks since 2002 (Baltimore, Adam Loewen), but Aiken's advanced feel for pitching makes it seem worthy trying again. Both his fastball command and off-speed pitches are considered ahead of the game, giving him "the chance to develop three above-average or better offerings," according to MLB.com. He's an athletic guy, and Law says his coaches have "judiciously" handled him and prioritized his career.
Why would the White Sox draft somebody else?
Probably because he was already off the board. Beyond that, the standard caveats that apply to all high school pitchers. Aiken doesn't seem to bring any additional concerns upon himself.
Where's he going in mock drafts?
Besides the prospect rankings, both BA and Law have mentioned that Aiken figures to command a lower price than the Scott Boras-guided Carlos Rodon, so that might be a better use of Houston's slot money. If the Astros try to go ever cheaper in the first round, there's a chance Aiken could slip by the Marlins, whose reported ties to Aiken have been minimal.