Last season, the MLB draft offered an abundance of college pitchers, aligning itself with the White Sox' wheelhouse. And with the talent expected to be available by the eighth pick, one pitcher matched their organizational philosophy better than any other.
That pitcher was Carson Fulmer, who was tied to the White Sox from the first mock drafts to the actual draft in June. Most other pitchers connected to the Sox were only done so under the condition that another team snatched Fulmer by surprise.
This season, it's a different story. The 2016 MLB draft is deeper with high school pitchers than any other area, which isn't the White Sox' best use of resources in an ideal world. Moreover, outside of first base, there isn't one area in which the Sox are set for/committed to a long term.
This being the case -- and without as much consensus at the top -- the mock drafts could spray a bunch of names at us. So far, nobody has had the same idea for the 10th pick.
As a result, we're starting the process of draft profiles a little earlier than usual, and we're doing so with the help of Lil Jimmy, who, as many of you know, follows the draft before it's even the year the draft is taking place.
First up: a college outfielder who is near and dear to the White Sox, Louisville outfielder Corey Ray.
Who is Corey Ray?
Most of us are familiar with Ray. If you aren't, catch up with this FanPost in November:
There are times when everything comes together. This June may be one of those times. Corey is a five tool dynamo from Louisville, a team he led to the College World Series [in 2015].
His journey started on the South Side of Chicago. He was a member of the Chicago White Sox' Amateur City Elite travel program and a standout player at Simeon High. The White Sox helped him get a full ride to Louisville and they did not regret it. He does it all, including stealing home this spring in a game winner. He is as slick as whale spit and there is a good chance he is still on the board at No. 10.
He's 5' 11" and 185 pounds, bats left and throws left. He plays center field and has the tools to stick. He hits the ball hard, foul line to foul line. With travel team, high school and three years of college under his belt, he should move quickly through the minors. We might see him in 2018.
Updating that info with this year's stats, he's batting .320/.392/.580 with 13 homers, 54 RBIs, 35 stolen bases, 28 walks and 33 strikeouts over 219 at-bats.
How does he rank?
What's his game?
See above. He can do everything, although his time in center may be limited (Law dropped a Ray Lankford comparison).
What does he look like?
Why would the White Sox draft him?
It'd be one of the all-time great draft stories, not just because the White Sox selected him from their ACE program, but because he was legitimately the best player available. He is a wonderful talent. The chances of him still being on the board at No. 10 are slim. He plays an exciting brand of baseball and he would be a most welcome addition to your Chicago White Sox.
Why would the White Sox draft somebody else?
The arm is good, not great, which likely means he moves to left if he does not stick in center. That would make him less valuable. There is talk that his route running and instincts need polishing. He had a hot, hot start to this year's season but has cooled down. I have read complaints of a long swing.