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MLB Draft 2016: Blake Rutherford takes lead for White Sox in third mock draft roundup

Draftniks tie White Sox to California prep outfielder, with a cameo by college catcher Zack Collins

And suddenly, the MLB draft appears a whole lot more exciting for White Sox fans.

After watching different parts of the bullpen blow a four-run lead on Friday and a six-run lead on Saturday, Chris Sale might have to go the distance to make a difference against the Royals today. There's a lot riding on it, because if Kansas City sinks a Sale start for the sweep, all that'll be left among White Sox fans is sturm und drang.

The draft remains a pleasant distraction, and with all the mock drafts updated this weekend, let's take a look at where they stand compared to last week.

Baseball America

10. Zack Collins, C, Miami
26. Eric Lauer, LHP, Kent State

After a brief dalliance with the idea of a high-school pitcher with the 10th pick, Baseball America is back to Zack:

10. WHITE SOX: Scouts continue to ding Zack Collins for his athleticism (modest) and catch-and-throw skills (improved but still fringy). They also saw him hit an opposite-field homer Wednesday on a fastball down and away at the ACC tournament, but his receiving wasn’t very quiet. The Sox have a need and like how Collins’ bat would fit at U.S. Cellular Field. PICK: Zack Collins

They've consistently assigned the lefty Lauer with the 26th pick, at least for the last three of their four drafts. The one time the Sox didn't pick Lauer, it was because Collins was still available. That gives you some idea of how much Collins' stock has risen.

Last time: Ian Anderson, RHP, Shenendehowa (N.Y.) HS and Lauer.

10. Blake Rutherford, OF, Chaminade Prep (Calif.) HS
26. Matt Thaiss, C, Virginia

Jonathan Mayo's doing this week's draft, but he echoes Jim Callis' pick from the week before, connecting the Sox with the talented left-handed hitting outfielder:

It appears they covet Rutherford over the other hitters available in this scenario, and it was reported that White Sox executive vice president Kenny Williams was on hand to see Rutherford turn on a quality fastball and hit a deep home run.

Thaiss is a new name, although the "C" next to his name sounds far more arbitrary than it does for Collins:

Chicago wouldn't mind if a college arm like Dunn or Sedlock were available, but they're off the board here. No one believes Thiass will catch, but the bat should play and the White Sox do play in the league with a designated hitter.

This draft might be more notable for the guys selected one pick after the Sox take their turns. Lauer is still on the board at No. 26, and the Orioles take him one pick later. And at No. 11, the Mariners select ... Corey Ray. It's difficult to imagine him sliding that far, but Mayo cites "some questions and concerns about his profile."

Last week: Rutherford and Gavin Lux. This time around, Lux, the Wisconsin prep shortstop goes one pick earlier to the Padres at No. 25.

Keith Law

No. 10: Rutherford
No. 26: Lux

It's the same story for Law, who has the Sox picking Rutherford with Ray still on the board, and Ray going to the Mariners. The wrinkle with this one is that he's been wondering aloud this week about signability concerns with Rutherford:

I've otherwise heard the White Sox being in on college arms, but it sounds as though they might take Rutherford if he fell here unexpectedly. I've also heard Rutherford being someone the teams with large bonus pools might try to get to slide into the sandwich round or high second round.

He had a little more to say about this in his chat two days prior:

Alex Remington: Could Blake Rutherford possibly fall to 40 due to outrageous bonus demands?

Klaw: I had a scout broach that possibility to me yesterday. It’s an interesting one, because he was seen coming into the year as a potential top 5 guy and is almost certainly not going up there. I could also see the Phils cutting a deal with him at 1, then trying to pay someone $5 million at 42. There are a lot of possibilities right now with the lack of clarity up top and all these high school kids with upside but no price tags yet.

Law sticks with Lux at No. 26, and although he agrees with BA about the Sox looking at college pitchers, he has them looking at Georgia righty Robert Tyler, and, to a lesser extent, Pittsburgh righty T.J. Zeuch.

Last week: Dakota Hudson, RHP, Mississippi State and Lux.