A strange characteristic of this year's draft? There's far less certainty over whom the Sox will draft at No. 10 than there is 16 picks later.
Also strange: Baseball America didn't have a mock draft this week. It left off on May 13 by tying the Sox to Capital Region righty Ian Anderson at No. 10, and college lefty Eric Lauer at No. 26. I'm eager for a follow-up, not just because Anderson's in my neighborhood, but more because I want to see if there's any kind of consensus about even the type of player the White Sox might pick at No. 10. Instead, all it can offer is this nice profile of Corey Ray.
Even now, more so than ever, Ray has become a shining beacon to the kids in Chicago, the kids playing for Jackie Robinson West little league or in the Chicago White Sox Amateur City Elite (ACE) program. Ray at one time played for both. He was on the very first 13-under ACE team, a program designed to assist Chicago youth in reaching their baseball dreams and getting to college. Those Chicago children can now watch Ray play on TV, in a Louisville uniform, a junior outfielder on a team that is built to contend for a national championship. They can watch a young, black, talented athlete who came from the same area as them, who faced many of the same hurdles.
"The things I like to tell (those kids) most is, ‘He used to be one of you guys,’" said Kevin Coe, director of youth baseball initiatives for the White Sox. "‘He used to make the same mistakes as you guys. He used to have the same successes as you guys, but there’s a reason why he’s Corey and you know who he is.’
Unfortunately, the newest mock drafts see Ray coming off the board with Milwaukee's pick at No. 5. BA may be absent, but Keith Law unveiled his first, which you can compare with last week's mock draft notes.
10. Dakota Hudson, RHP, Mississippi State
26. Gavin Lux, SS, Indian Trail Academy (Kenosha, Wisc.)
Hudson is a new name, and the reasoning is more speculative:
I've heard the White Sox are on big college arms, especially Hudson and Georgia right-hander Robert Tyler. That said, I wonder if they'd roll the dice on Pint, given their willingness to take guys with great stuff but unusual aspects to their deliveries.
This is the first mock draft that has the Sox taking a college pitcher with the 10th pick, and it seems to be a reach based on the rankings, which put him in the back half of the first round. If you missed Lil Jimmy's comment about it, he's not thrilled, either:
No. Just no. This is lazy crap. There are nine players at the top of this draft. Hudson is just a guy. The Sox like college pitchers, let’s throw them one. If one of the first nine tems goes under slot, and they will, a better player can and will be had.
10. Blake Rutherford, OF, Chaminade Prep (Canoga Park, Calif.)
While Friend of the Podcast Jim Callis engineered MLB.com's mock draft this week, he agrees with colleague Jonathan Mayo's picks from last week. He also agrees with Lil Jimmy about Hudson:
Though Chicago likes college pitchers and took Carlos Rodon and Carson Fulmer with its past two first-rounders, Puk won't get here and the other college arms (led by Mississippi State right-hander Dakota Hudson) would be a stretch at 10. There will be multiple attractive high school pitchers, but the White Sox haven't spent a first-rounder on one since Kris Honel 15 years ago. Rutherford may fit best, ahead of the next-best college bat (Miami catcher Zack Collins).
In both drafts, Collins is still on the board at No. 10, and is snapped up afterward (No. 11 for Law, No. 12 for Callis).
While Callis downplays potential interest in Hudson, he does agree with Law about the other collegiate pitcher mentioned in his write-up about Lux:
In a terrible Draft for shortstops, Lux has established himself as the second best behind Perez after improving his tools this spring. Chicago is higher on Georgia right-hander Robert Tyler than most clubs.