When you have the No. 3 overall pick, it’s never too soon to take a quick peek into this year’s MLB draft. This year’s draft class is loaded with excellent hitting prospects, but is relatively weak on the pitching side.
Draft Prospects You Should Know is a new series that features prospects who the White Sox could pursue in this year’s draft. As the June draft nears, we’ll return to many of these athletes and provide updates on whether their stocks are rising (or falling).
Age listed as of Day One of the Draft (June 3).
Malvern Prep H.S. (Malvern, Pa.)
Baseball America 87
Chris Newell is the type of outfielder who often gets overlooked: He’s a prep from a cold-weather state who actually underwent Tommy John surgery during his varsity career. However, he’s also the type of outfielder who finds himself enjoying a long major league career. as he’s multi-skilled and polished in most facets of the game.
Newell has a tall and lanky frame (6´3´´, 190 pounds), and definitely wowed scouts with an exemplary performance during a Perfect Game event at Atlanta last year. According to Baseball America, he has a smooth, uphill bat path from the left side and shows solid power with a fly ball-oriented swing. Newell’s swing is short and quick with loft power all all fields, and he’s a mature hitter who is unfazed by velocity, and also reacts well to off-speed stuff. Newell also has above-average arm strength, although he’s still working his way back from Tommy John surgery.
Defensively, scouts think Newell has a chance to stick in center field, as an above-average runner. With his natural instincts, he should be able to play all outfield positions equally well. He reads balls well off the bat, takes quality routes and his straight-line speed allows him to run balls down. When at full strength, Newell’s arm plays well in right field with carry and accuracy.
Based solely on current rankings by Baseball America and FanGraphs, Newell would possibly be selected between the White Sox’s third and fourth round selections. Would the White Sox consider drafting him? Certainly being a prep athlete hurts his stock, but the White Sox did select a shortstop (Lency Delgado) in last year’s fourth round, so it’s not unheard of.
However, if the White Sox select a prep athlete in either of the first two rounds, I wouldn’t count on them taking another high school player so early in the draft. Similarly, if the Sox select an outfielder with either of their first two selections, it’s unlikely they would select another outfielder quite so quickly. Newell does, however, possess a solid enough skill set to warrant consideration in the third round thanks to his defense, power potential, arm, and hitting; if he fell to the fourth, a team would likely have to offer over-slot cash to pry him from his commitment with the University of Virginia.
Here’s a video of Newell in last year’s Under Armour All-American workout last year in Chicago, courtesy of 2080 Baseball:
Previously, on Draft Prospects You Should Know
Cameron Cannon, University of Arizona 2B/3B
Matt Cronin, University of Arkansas LHRP
Tyler Dyson, University of Florida RHSP
Daniel Espino, Georgia Premier Academy RHSP
Rece Hinds, IMG Baseball Academy (Fla.) 3B
Jason Hodges, Marist (Ill.) H.S. OF-1B
Jack Leiter, Delbarton (N.J.) H.S. RHSP
Quinn Priester, Cary-Grove (Ill.) H.S. RHSP
Adley Rutschman, Oregon State University C
Andrew Vaughn, University of California, 1B
Matt Wallner, Southern Miss University OF