Still, as we've seen throughout the process, the rankings of collegiate pitchers hasn't exactly been ironclad. At one point. Louisville righty Kyle Funkhouser was supposed to be a top-five pick, and now his stock has slid past the White Sox at No. 8 and into the mid-first round. He's been replaced by Illinois lefty Tyler Jay, who was at one point considered a mild reach for the Sox inside the top 10.
The one pitcher who hadn't slid down to the eighth pick? UC Santa Barbara righty Dillon Tate. He had been floated as a possibility for the top pick, and the Rangers were considered a likely landing spot at No. 4.
Now, that might not be the case:
Cubs are rolling deep at Dillon Tate's start tonight, including VP Jason McLeod. More evidence clubs realizing Tate could go outside top 4.— Kiley McDaniel (@kileymcd) May 30, 2015
The Cubs have the ninth pick. We know who has the eighth, and John Manuel is the first to tie the two together.
The White Sox’s choice may come down to the wire as well. They’re interested in Fulmer, as they remain in strong consideration for college arms, but the best bets here will wind up being a choice between UC Santa Barbara’s Dillon Tate and (Missouri State's Jon) Harris. Tate’s stock has tumbled some in recent weeks as his velocity and location on his fastball have backed up, but he has better present stuff than Harris, who is a safer bet to start but has a lower ceiling.
Jay's stock rose enough that even Law considered him to go before he gets to the White Sox (Rockies at No. 3). He still has the Rangers on Tate, which might be the key in keeping any kind of traditional order to the pitcher rankings.
The White Sox want another college arm who will get to the big leagues quickly, along the lines of Chris Sale and Carlos Rodon, which puts them squarely on Jay and Fulmer.
Law still thinks Fulmer is a reliever, and said in his chat that James Kaprelian, Trey Kirby and Walker Buehler are better bets to advance quickly, since he still considers Fulmer's future in the bullpen.
The MLB.com crew is still zigging where others are zagging, as Jonathan Mayo follows (upcoming South Side Sox podcast guest) Jim Callis' lead by tying the Missouri State righty to the Sox at No. 8.
Signs are pointing to a college arm here, and the White Sox might hope for Jay to get to them. If not, Harris could get the nod over the Vandy duo of Fulmer and Walker Buehler.
In this scenario, Jay went to the Rockies and Tate to the Astros (at No. 5). Fulmer lands with the Cubs one pick after the Sox.
McDaniel is back with his second mock draft, and while his latest recon above shows that teams think Tate might slide to the eighth pick, he has the Twins taking him at No. 6. Jay is off the board at No. 3, and the White Sox have their choice of the rest:
The White Sox have been tied to hometown kid Jay and Fulmer all spring and odds are they’ll get a chance to pick one of them here. Jay should get here if he doesn’t go 3rd, although that now seems like where he’ll go. Fulmer should go in the 5-9 range and fits the White Sox trend (Carlos Rodon, Tyler Danish, Chris Sale) of taking talented pitchers with less-than-ideal mechanics and making it work as a starter. If both Fulmer and Jay don’t get this far, it isn’t clear who Chicago is looking at, but the assumption is it would be more college pitching, with righties Jon Harris (the presumed third option), Walker Buehler and James Kaprielian next in line.