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MLB Draft: Three players for the Chicago White Sox to target

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College World Series - Coastal Carolina v Arizona - Game Two
You won’t find J.J. Matijevic on any Top 50 lists, but he could be a targeted player for the White Sox in June’s MLB Draft.
Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

This week, MLBPipeline.com posted the 50 best prospects in the upcoming draft. As usual, they know who the best players are, but you can bet that 12 to 20 players not on this list will go in the top 50 in June. When the Chicago White Sox drafted Tim Anderson back in 2013, he was on nobodies “Top 100 list” in December.

Last year I wrote a fan post in April listing players that were not on the top 50 list. This is what they missed:

1) # 9 Matt Manning

2) #15 Alex Kirloff

3) #17 Forest Whitley

4) #20 Gavin Lux

5) #22 Wil Craig

6) #31 Anthony Kay

7) #39 Anfernee Grier

8) #40 Joey Wentz

There were more, but this is what I caught predraft. Still, this list should include the player that will be taken by the White Sox at pick 11.

Today, I have three players who could be White Sox targets.

Brendan McKay

College: Louisville

Height/Weight: 6’ 2”, 2 10 lbs

Bats: Left

Throw: Left

He a has a loose easy delivery, excellent command, and a plus curve. The changeup is solid, and overall he is a solid pitching prospect. Why might he still be around? He is most likely a mid-rotation starter with limited upside. He should not be the first or second college pitcher off the board.

One thing he has on the others is that he may be the second-best collegiate hitter in this draft class, after Jeren Kendall. He has a strong left-handed power swing, and he is deadly with the bat. One thing he does not do well is run, as his speed grades out at 30, which reminds me of Paul Konerko. That lack of athleticism is what limits McKay to first base. If he is on the board, this is a done deal.

If he is not, here is another option at pick 11.

Garrett Mitchell

High School: Orange Lutheran (Cali.)

Height/Weight: 6’2”, 200 lbs.

Bats: Left

Throws: Right

Baseball America lists him as the third best high school position player after Royce Lewis and Jordon Adell, who will be top ten picks. With a stacked college pitching class, that should leave Mitchell on the board at pick 11.

Since grade school, he has had to deal with type one diabetes. He has a rare power/speed combo that gives him a good chance to be an everyday player. MLBpipeline.com ranks him at #31. This kid comes off the board in the teens. You can bank on that.

J.J. Matijevic

College: Arizona

Height/Weight: 6’1”, 200 lbs

Bats: Left

Throws: Right

A better bet for pick 49, J.J. Matijevic was drafted by the Red Sox in the 22nd round of the 2014 draft out of high school but chose to enroll at Arizona instead. Helping the Wildcats finish runner-up in last year’s College World Series, Matijevic is poised for a big year in 2017.

“The bat speed, the power, the way the ball jumps off his bat is not normal,” Arizona coach Jay Johnson said. “You don’t see that in college very often.”

Matijevic had a strong showing in the Cape Cod League this summer, hitting .376/.449/.553 and showed versatility playing first base, right field, and designated hitter. He has the athleticism to play second base and should start there in 2017 for the Wildcats.

The kid is a baseball player, there is a bit of Brett Lawrie about him, and Nick Hostetler likes to draft baseball players. All in all a solid prospect who will be on the Sox radar come June.