The White Sox haven't drafted a high school pitcher in the first round of the MLB draft since Kris Honel in 2001. Yet with this draft particularly deep in prep arms and the Sox possessing multiple first-round picks, this year may be more conducive to a prep arm than others.
So let's start with Braxton Garrett.
Who is Braxton Garrett?
Braxton Garrett is a left-handed high school pitcher out of Florence, Ala.. He's 6' 3" and 190 pounds, and will turn 19 in August. Everybody likes this kid. I was unable to find anything that was not 100 percent positive for a pitcher at his experience level.
His dad, Steve, is his coach and he has a commitment to Vanderbilt. I see a few million reasons in his future to head to the pros. He pitched for Team USA last fall in the 18U World Cup, and he has had the baseball world's attention ever since.
Earlier this week, he was named the Alabama Baseball Player of the Year.
Where does he rank?
- Baseball America: No. 9
- MLB.com: No. 14
- Keith Law: No. 6
What's his game?
Like most left-handers, he is not a flame thrower. The fastball is mostly 90-91 with nice movement. All of his secondary pitches are rock solid, with his curve being the best of all. He has an easy, repeatable motion and the term "polished" shows up in every review. It's just high school, but he misses a lot of bats while throwing everything in the zone. He's posted 131 strikeouts against 13 walks over 65 inning this year. That can open some eyes.
What does he look like?
Why would the White Sox draft him?
With a name like Braxton Garrett, shouldn't he be selling insurance or running for office? Maybe, but only after he is done playing ball. It appears that picking him at No. 10 would not be a reach, and we all know the White Sox love lefty starters. He has a ceiling of a No. 2 starter and those are few and far between.
Why would the White Sox draft somebody else?
High school pitchers are such a crap shoot, and the White Sox have shied away from them for years, at least with their top pick. He is going to need at least four years, maybe more. That's all I can think of. You tell me.
Where is he going in mock drafts?
MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo had the White Sox picking Garrett in an early mock draft, but Garrett has since climbed out of their range.
I know I am not alone in being a little nervous about high school pitchers in the draft, but Garrett sure is a good-looking player. If the Sox were to draft him, I would enjoy watching him move through the system.