With their third pick of the night, the White Sox selected their first project in Alec Hansen.
Hansen, a 6-foot-7-inch righty out of the University of Oklahoma, had been considered potential top-10 material entering this year, but his performance -- OK, his control -- took a step backward.
The White Sox are undertaking a tall task with their second-round selection (49th overall), and it's not just because of Hansen's height.
The good: Baseball America says Hansen has the best raw stuff in the draft behind fourth-overall pick Riley Pint and White Sox second-rounder Zack Burdi. His fastball ranges in the mid-to-high 90s with movement, along with what MLB.com calls a 60 slider, a 55 curve and a 50 changeup, and he's had stretches where he's overpowered good collegiate competition.
The bad: He's also had stretches bad enough that he was banished to the Sooners' bullpen for a stretch in 2016. He walked 39 over 51⅔ innings in 2016, which is how he ended up with a 5.40 ERA despite striking out 75.
He may require some extensive mechanical revision, not just because he struggles to repeat his delivery, but because he's missed time with sore elbow/forearm tightness, which caused him to miss the summer circuit and a good chunk of fall ball. For what it's worth, he said that his problems this year were not due to health.
The reaction to the draft pick was one of curiosity.
Drafting Alec Hansen is taking your chips and putting it all on green. But if it pays off? Big time payoff. pic.twitter.com/tEMTRHoBLp— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) June 10, 2016
White Sox play it safe at 10 and 26, then swing out of their shoes at 49 with Alec Hansen. Boom or bust, could be a big steal if he controls— Brian Sakowski (@B_Sakowski_PG) June 10, 2016
Not a bad time to take a flier on Alec Hansen at 49. Maybe he’s Jason Neighborgall (career numbers are similar). But a huge arm, obviously.— Aaron Fitt (@aaronfitt) June 10, 2016
If you want to be excited about this pick, do not look at Neighborgall's pro stats.