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2019 MLB Draft: White Sox take Avery Weems in the sixth round (170th overall)

Weems, a senior with the Arizona Wildcats, is a potential under-slot selection in the sixth round

Avery Weems, a native of Flagstaff, was the surprise sixth round pick of the White Sox.
Arizona Baseball | arizonawildcats.com

With their sixth round pick, the White Sox selected southpaw Avery Weems from the University of Arizona. Below is his profile:

Avery Weems
Arizona
Left Handed Pitcher
Age 21
Bats Right
Throws Left

Rankings

Baseball America NA
MLB NA
FanGraphs NA

Weems spent his first two seasons of college ball with Yavapai C.C. before transferring to Arizona for his junior and senior seasons. Unfortunately, he struggled for the Wildcats—perhaps as a result of splitting so much time between starting and relieving. Here are his collegiate stats:

2016 14 G, 13 GS, 4-1, 0 SV, 3.90 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 57.2 IP, 56 H, 24 BB, 61 K.
2017 18 G, 11 GS, 6-4, 0 SV, 2.89 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 65 IP, 60 H, 24 BB, 87 K
2018 26 G, 9 GS, 2-3, 1 SV, 5.69 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, 55 IP, 66 H, 21 BB, 39 K
2019 25 G, 8 GS 4-5, 2 SV, 706 ERA, 1.64 WHIP, 58.2 IP, 80 H, 16 BB, 44 K

Obviously, the scouts saw something in Weems that’s not illustrated in his stat line. The Sox have had good success drafting fourth year seniors like Blake Battenfield and John Parke with modest collegiate results; Weems is a bit of a surprise though that he was drafted so early. However, perhaps his struggles were due to his not being placed in the right role. He has a three-pitch repertoire including a fastball, curveball, and changeup combo but doesn’t blow away hitters as by his relatively low K/9 ratio. He does have decent control, however, and could profile as a starting pitcher thanks to his build (6’2”, 205). He will turn 22 the day after the draft, so if the team wants to fast-track him, it would likely be as a reliever.

As a senior, Weems lacks the leverage to be able to return to college, making Chicago’s choice to draft him so high notable. His draft spot, 170th, comes with a bonus value of $296,400, though the White Sox may attempt to offer less for him to sign and use the savings to sweeten offers to other draftees.

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Most successful White Sox sixth-round pick: Marcus Semien, SS, 2011, California

Last year’s sixth-round pick: Codi Heuer, RHRP, Wichita State