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MLB Draft 2017: Mock drafts agree on favorite for White Sox

Three outlets project Vanderbilt outfielder Jeren Kendall with 11th pick

College World Series - Virginia v Vanderbilt - Game Three
Gang, I think I see the root of his contact issues.
Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

Last year, the Chicago White Sox kept the analysts guessing through draft day. Only one of the five final mock drafts correctly projected Zack Collins with the 10th pick. Two went with Blake Rutherford (No. 18, Yankees), one went with Justin Dunn (No. 19, Mets), and Keith Law missed the most with Dakota Hudson (No. 34, Cardinals).

On the other hand, Law was the only one to get Zack Burdi with the second pick. In other words, projecting any draft is difficult, especially outside of the first three to five picks.

Then we have this year, where all three outlets agree on the White Sox’ direction at pick No. 11 with more than a week remaining.

Baseball America

Jeren Kendall, OF, Vanderbilt

Baseball America posted its “3.5” version on last Friday, making it the oldest of the big three mock drafts. However, the assessment jibes with what follows below. The White Sox seem quite high on the toolsy Commodore:

Vanderbilt outfielder Jeren Kendall has struggled with strikeouts all spring (65 in 230 at-bats), but his other tools earn easy plus grades.

The BA draft doesn’t give the White Sox to choose between other named outfield targets, as prep star Jordon Adell and Virginia Cavalier Adam Haseley are off the board with the ninth and 10th picks.

BA’s scouting report says Kendall is “an 80 runner” with “plus arm strength and accuracy” that makes him a “plus defender in center field.” If it seems like the contact stuff is harped upon, it’s because it’s the only gap in his game, and it’s not for a lack of athleticism.

Last week: Jordon Adell OF, Ballard HS, Louisville

Keith Law

Jeren Kendall, OF, Vanderbilt

Keith Law is detecting the same thing, with intel:

White Sox GM Rick Hahn met with Kendall last week. This would be a nervy pick, like taking Alec Hansen in the second round last year (he was a likely top-of-draft guy who fell due to performance, not injury), but with the higher risk of taking Kendall at 11 when there are lots of good college bats such as Logan Warmoth still on the board.

Adell, Haseley and even North Carolina prep outfielder Austin Beck are all off the board at this point, along with Pavin Smith, Law’s previous pick for the White Sox at No. 11. In a notable departure, North Carolina ace J.B. Bukauskas is still available at this point and goes one pick later in this scenario.

Previously: Pavin Smith, 1B, Virginia

Jeren Kendall, OF, Vanderbilt

Jonathan Mayo makes it 3-for-3:

We've written about the swing-and-miss ad nauseum, but the tools are undeniable, and Kendall has the track record to base a pick like this on.

Again, Haseley and Adell go earlier in the draft.

At this point, it seems like Beck is the outfielder who draws the biggest range of opinions (read: can mess up draft orders). In Mayo’s projection, Beck goes to the Yankees at No. 16, and that’s in the middle. Law has the Phillies selecting Beck at No. 8, while Baseball America has the Rangers getting him at No. 26.

Previously: Adam Haseley, OF, Virginia