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South Side Sox Mock Draft 2.0

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Former Little League World Series hero now prep star, Nick Pratto is our pick for the Chicago White Sox at #11.

2011 Little League Baseball World Series
Former Little League World Series champion, Nick Pratto from Huntington Beach is our pick for the Chicago White Sox at pick 11.
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Last month, we released the first version of our mock draft and since not much has changed. Hunter Greene is still the top prospect, but rumors persist that the Minnesota Twins won't select him first because of signability reasons. Brendan McKay is still excelling on the mound and at first base continuing the debate on what his future full-time position will be. For teams starving for starting pitching, there will be plenty of choices to select from the college ranks.

We've aggregated four major publication draft lists (MLB, Baseball America, ESPN, Hero Sports) and created a draft database for the Top 50 prospects to average their rankings.

From this exercise we've discovered:

  • 29 of the Top 50 prospects are in high school.
  • 29 of the Top 50 prospects are pitchers.
  • 11 of the Top 50 prospects are outfielders.
  • The top high school pitching prospect: Hunter Greene
  • The top college pitching prospect: Brendan McKay
  • The top high school position player: Royce Lewis
  • The top college position player: Jeren Kendall

Breaking down the latest on what is happening with the draft, we have posted our email exchange below.

Josh: Jim, since we last had our Mock Draft, who is rising on your board?

Jim: I like Sam Carlson (#15 prospect, RHP from Burnsville High Minnesota) a whole lot. Perfect size for a pitcher at 6'4" 200 LBS. Fastball in the mid-90's that can hit 97-98. Four plus pitches. Everyone has him at 15 right now. The only place to go from there is up. Who do you have rising on your board?

Josh: I had no clue who MacKenzie Gore was until we had Hudson Belinsky from Baseball America on the podcast. After Belinsky's scouting report and hearing Jim Callis rave about Gore, I had to learn more about him. His delivery is a bit funky with such a high kick, but from multiple video clips, he's athletic enough to repeat the delivery. 18-year olds who can already throw 92-94 mph fastball with an advanced changeup and breaking stuff will have MLB teams drool. He wasn't in my last Mock Draft Top 15, but I have him #4 to Tampa. He's the second best LHP in this draft in my book behind Brendan McKay.

Last mock draft you had J.B. Bukauskas go number one to the Minnesota Twins. I'm still sticking with Brendan McKay as my first pick. Are you sticking with Bukauskas, or has someone else leaped above him?

Jim: My pick of Bukauskas was with the thought that the Twins sign him under slot. The premise that they reach an agreement with a pre-draft under slot has not changed. With more thought and better results from Kyle Wright, I changed my pick to him. Minnesota has two picks in the mid-30's and could use the extra bonus pool dollars. If they offered 7.2 million, that is still more than the second pick money.

In 2014, the Cubs selected Kyle Schwarber at #4. Nobody saw that coming. What player might be a surprise top ten pick? I have a player in mind, but I will let you go first.

Josh: Great question. I'm going with Logan Warmoth, the shortstop from North Carolina University. Warmoth is having a good season (.330/.408/.537, leads the team with 7 HR) and has established himself as the best collegiate middle infielder in this draft class. That factoid may not be saying much as he currently ranks 24th in the MLB Draft Prospect Average Rankings. If a team loses out on Royce Lewis, the best SS in this class, they could select Warmoth to save on bonus money and a player with a high floor.

You've got me curious. Who would be your surprise top ten pick?

Jim: Shortstops who can play there in the Majors are worth their weight in gold. Good choice. For me, it's Brendon Little. Keith Law has him #17, Hero Sports at #15. He's a power pitching LHP. His fastball is electric; his curve is a plus pitch that dives straight down. Just 20, so younger than the college guys but more developed than an HS lefty. He could have the makings of a stud.

If Luis Robert were in this draft, where does he go?

Josh: If it were up to me, Luis Robert would go number one overall, but I agree with you that the Minnesota Twins want to save bonus slot money for later picks and need starting pitching help. That means in this hypothetical, Cincinnati would pick Robert second overall. There is a possibility that the Reds could win the Luis Robert sweepstakes and draft Hunter Greene. That would be one hell of a way to start building a prospect pipeline.

Since our last Mock Draft, Seth Romero was suspended from the University of Houston baseball team, reinstated, and now kicked off the team for good. How far will Seth Romero fall?

Jim: Out of the first round for sure. The Twins have their third pick at #37. With two players already on board, they could afford to take a chance. If I were the Sox, I would not consider him at all.

How many high school players will the White Sox select in the first ten rounds?

Josh: 13 of the White Sox 69 players since 2010 selected in the first ten rounds have been high schoolers. That's 18.8%. Based on this trend, it would be safe to say two or fewer.

I spoke with Nick Hostetler, who will be on the South Side Sox podcast on Monday, and one of his goals this draft is to get younger. It may cost some precious money to buy out college commitments, but I think Hostetler will achieve more balance. I'm going to predict four high schoolers in the first ten rounds.

Speaking of high school - we again agree on the same player at 11 for the White Sox: Nick Pratto.

Josh: I got a chance to watch Nick Pratto in the Boras Classic Championship game on ESPN 3. In the seventh inning, Pratto crushed a changeup for a two-run double that lead his team to the title. While his sweet left-handed stroke and power capture your attention, I’ve spoken to a White Sox scout who believes he could be a gold glover at first base.

In my White Sox fandom, the organization has been blessed with terrific offensive first basemen: Frank Thomas, Paul Konerko, and Jose Abreu. I firmly believe that Pratto’s ceiling can join those greats in continuing that streak of success. Jordan Adell has a great deal of talent, but Pratto is just as talented and more polished.

Here are our Top 15 Mock Draft picks:

Josh Nelson’s Picks

Team Player Position School
Team Player Position School
Minnesota Twins Brendan McKay LHP Louisville
Cincinatti Reds Kyle Wright RHP Vanderbilt
San Diego Padres Hunter Greene RHP Notre Dame High School
Tampa Bay Rays MacKenzie Gore LHP Whiteville High School
Atlanta Braves Austin Beck OF North Davidson
Oakland Athletics Jeren Kendall OF Vanderbilt
Arizona Diamondbacks Royce Lewis SS Jserra Catholic
Philadelphia Phillies J.B. Bukauskas RHP North Carolina
Milwaukee Brewers Alex Faedo RHP Florida
Los Angeles Angels Pavin Smith 1B Virginia
Chicago White Sox Nick Pratto 1B Huntington Beach
Pittsburgh Pirates DL Hall LHP Valdosta High
Miami Marlins Adam Haseley OF Virginia
Kansas City Royals Jake Burger 3B Missouri State
Houston Astros Jordon Adell OF Ballard High

Jim Osborn’s Picks

Team Player Position School
Team Player Position School
Minnesota Twins Kyle Wright RHP Vanderbilt
Cincinatti Reds Brendan McKay LHP Louisville
San Diego Padres Hunter Greene RHP Notre Dame High School
Tampa Bay Rays Austin Beck OF North Davidson
Atlanta Braves MacKenzie Gore LHP Whiteville High School
Oakland Athletics J.B. Bukauskas RHP North Carolina
Arizona Diamondbacks Royce Lewis SS Jserra Catholic
Philadelphia Phillies Alex Faedo RHP Florida
Milwaukee Brewers Alex Lange RHP LSU
Los Angeles Angels Jeren Kendall OF Vanderbilt
Chicago White Sox Nick Pratto 1B Huntington Beach
Pittsburgh Pirates Pavin Smith 1B Virginia
Miami Marlins Adam Haseley OF Virginia
Kansas City Royals Sam Carlson RHP Burnsville High
Houston Astros DL Hall LHP Valdosta High