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MLB Draft 2016: White Sox select Zack Burdi with 26th pick

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Louisville closer and Downers Grove native could make his way into the Chicago bullpen before the end of the season

If the White Sox are looking for bullpen help during the second half, they might have just added some.

With their second pick of the night, the Sox selected Zach Burdi, Louisville closer, and most importantly, a product of Downers Grove South High School.

Burdi emerged late in mock drafts, so I roped him into the list of nine extra draft possibilities:

Zach Burdi, RHP, Louisville. Like me, he's a product of Downers Grove South. Unlike me, he can hit 100 on the gun. He's been used as Louisville's closer, but his frame (6'3" and 210 pounds) and arsenal (plus slider, makings of a good changeup) make a jump to the rotation possible, although his control may limit him.

The White Sox proved Keith Law correct, as Law said in his projections for No. 26, "I was told this is a "lock" if Burdi gets this far." Plus, the White Sox have an apparent affinity for all Zachs and Zacks, which they reinforced by picking Miami catcher Zack Collins in the first round.

Burdi's brother, Nick, was picked by the Twins in the second round of the 2014 draft. Two years later, Burdi beats him by a (half) round by having a high-90s fastball (MLB.com called it a 75) with two secondary offerings, including a 60 slider.  He's used that to rack up 46 to seven walks and 15 hits over 28⅔ innings for the Cardinals this season.

While he might have enough versatility in his approach to start, the draft analysts in the MLB Network studio weren't particularly bullish. Baseball America's John Manuel said Burdi's closed approach on the mound might be hard to alter, and Friend of the Podcast Jim Callis predicted he'd be "the first guy to the big leagues."

Knowing how the White Sox operate -- and knowing what the White Sox need -- that would not surprise me.

The official comment from Nick Hostetler:

"We are thrilled to add Zack Burdi to our organization," said Nick Hostetler, White Sox director of scouting. "He possesses dynamic stuff with a fastball that has reached 102, a plus slider and a devastating changeup. We've known him for a long time, we've scouted him since high school, and we love his tremendous leadership and work ethic."