'Tis the season to be glad the White Sox didn't sign a free agent who rejected a qualifying offer this past winter, because 'tis the season for mock drafts.
If, for the foreseeable future, this is the last draft in which the Sox' first-round pick is protected, they're making it count. The Sox have three draft picks in the top 50 -- Nos. 10, 26 and 49 -- which makes this process even more fun to follow.
The mock draft releases are starting to find their rhythm, and so we can start to lay the groundwork. Baseball America is already three mock drafts in, while MLB.com released its first full draft after previously releasing stabs at the Top 10. Keith Law's first mock draft is set for Wednesday, and depending on how FanGraphs proceeds in the post-Kiley McDaniel era, the gang could be all here.
Let's catch up on what the two major outlets see for the Sox on the first day of the draft, which opens on June 9.
10. Ian Anderson, RHP, Shenendehowa (N.Y.) HS
26. Eric Lauer, LHP, Kent State
Hudson Belinsky ran BA's third mock draft, and he has the White Sox selecting the local-to-me Anderson. The Clifton Park product is said to have three pitches -- low-90s fastball, curve, changeup -- with good mechanics, but he hasn't been the easiest to scout this spring, due to regional weather and a bout of pneumonia.
In its previous edition, Louisville outfielder (and ACE alum) Corey Ray fell to the Sox at No. 10. This time, he doesn't get past Milwaukee at No. 5. Oddly, the mockers like Lauer for the Sox both times, even at that late a stage. Perhaps it's because he fits the college-lefty profile the Sox have picked in the past (see: Jace Fry, Zack Erwin), or maybe it's because he's the No. 26 prospect on BA's Top 200 list.
10. Blake Rutherford, OF, Chamidale (Calif.) Prep HS
26. Gavin Lux, SS, Indian Trail Academy, Kenosha, Wisc.
Rutherford reflects the difficulty of sorting out a top 10 list. He's a center fielder with a well-rounded lefty bat, but he's 19-year-old high schooler who hasn't yet shown the power expected of him, so there may be some prospect fatigue setting in. As a result, Rutherford's been all over the first half of the first round, at least in MLB Pipeline's estimation. He was a top-five pick in their first mock and out of the top 10 in their second, and now he's sitting there on the cusp in their third try.
In the first two mock drafts, Mayo and Friend of the Podcast Jim Callis raised four possibilities for the Sox -- catcher Zack Collins, lefty pitcher Braxton Garrett, and righty college pitchers Jordan Sheffield and Cal Quantrill.
Lux is a well-rounded lefty shortstop, and, as a Wisconsin prep position player, a rare first-round possibility. From MLB Pipeline's Top 100:
Because he grew up around his uncle's program, Lux has advanced instincts in all phases of the game. His tools are catching up, as he has improved his strength, swing, speed and arm in the last year. He has worked to eliminate a hitch in his left-handed stroke, which has enough bat speed and leverage to produce 15 homers per year.