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2019 MLB Draft: White Sox take Ivan González in the eighth round (230th overall)

The South Siders pick a defensive-minded catcher to receive all their new pitchers

Defensive debut: Johnson is the first catcher selected by the White Sox in this year’s draft.
WVU Athletics | wvusports.com

With their eighth round pick, the White Sox selected catcher Ivan González from West Virginia University. Below is his profile:

Ivan González
West Virginia
Catcher
Age 21
Bats Right
Throws Right

Rankings

Baseball America NA
MLB NA
FanGraphs NA

In recent history, the White Sox have gone with bat-first catchers with major flaws defensively — most notably Zack Collins, Gunnar Troutwine, and Ty Greene. This year, they’ve gone a different route with the selection of Ivan González.

Before I get into his defense, these are his offensive numbers from 2017-19:

2017 55 G, 205 AB, .317/.359/.444, 9 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 29 RBIs, 12 BB, 15 K, 4-for-6 SB
2018 53 G, 200 AB, .255/.320/.325, 11 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 25 RBIs, 18 BB, 24 K, 1-for-2 SB
2019 52 G, 185 AB, .286/.397/.395, 11 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 26 RBIs, 32 BB, 31 K, 5-for-9 SB

Not a lot to get excited about here, but with his stocky build (5´9´´, 190 pounds), one would think he’d be capable of better power numbers. On the positive side, he has walked nearly as much as he’s fanned throughout his college career with the Mountaineers.

Now, let’s look at his defense. This year, he threw out 20-of-44 basestealers for a nifty 45.5% clip. In fact, he’s done nearly as well with gunning down baserunners during his previous two years as well. He keeps passed balls to a minimum, and his fielding percentage was a respectable .991. He was recently acknowledged as one of the candidates for the Johnny Bench Award, which is handed out to the nation’s best catcher. He also knows a thing or two about handling quality pitchers, as he caught most of the games pitched by this year’s first-round selection, Alek Manoah.
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Here’s a video of González hitting a homer back in 2017:

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Here are some of González’s career highlights, prior to this year :

2018 (Junior)

  • Earned All-Big 12 Honorable Mention
  • Played in 53 games with 52 starts, 43 as catcher, eight at third base and one as the designated hitter
  • Finished fourth on the team with 11 doubles, fifth with 51 hits, 25 RBIs and 18 walks and hit .255/.320/.325 with one homer, 25 runs scored and one stolen base in two attempts
  • Had 12 multi-hit games and six multi-RBI contests
  • Recorded an eight-game hit streak from February 23-March 10, with 12 hits, five RBIs and eight runs scored during the stretch, and had an 11-game reached-base streak
  • Drove in a pair of runs and had a hit and a run scored in WVU’s Big 12 Championship win over No. 20 Oklahoma State on May 23
  • Had six hits and five RBIs in WVU’s series at TCU, with a career-high-tying four hits and an RBI in the series-opening win on May 11, and a career-high-tying three hits with a home run on May 12
  • Drove in the game-winning run with a two-out, sixth-inning single on April 8 against UNLV as part of a two-hit, two-RBI day
  • Had two hits and a pair of RBIs on March 10 in a win at Middle Tennessee
  • Tied a career high with three runs scored and added two hits and a pair of walks in WVU’s win over Illinois on Feb. 24

2017 (Sophomore)

  • Named to the Johnny Bench Award Watch List, recognizing the nation’s best catcher
  • Played in 55 games with 50 starts, 40 as catcher, six at third base and four as the designated hitter
  • Finished second on the team with a .317 batting average and fourth with a .444 slugging percentage, with 65 hits, five home runs, nine doubles, one triple, 29 RBIs and 12 walks
  • Tied for fourth on the team with three game-winning hits
  • Had 18 multi-hit games and eight multi-RBI games
  • Had an eight-game hitting streak and reached base in a career-best 15 consecutive games to finish the season
  • Had three hits, a career high-tying three RBIs, two runs scored with two doubles in the NCAA Regional Final at No. 13 Wake Forest on June 4
  • Homered and had two hits in WVU’s NCAA Regional-opening win vs. Maryland on June 2
  • Had three hits and scored three runs on May 13 vs. Gardner-Webb
  • Drove in the game-winning run with a first-inning home run as part of a 3-for-3 day with three RBIs and three runs scored on May 2 vs. Eastern Michigan
  • Had a career-best four hits with three RBIs, three runs scored, a home run and a double on April 18 at Marshall
  • Drove in a pair of runs, including the game-winner with a home run in the first inning, scored two runs, stole two bases and went 3-for-4 on April 7 vs. Kansas
  • Recorded two hits, three RBIs and two runs scored with a sacrifice fly on March 5 at Tulane

2016 (Freshman)

  • Named to the Baseball America Freshman All-America Team
  • Earned All-Big 12 Honorable Mention accolades
  • Named to the Big 12 All-Freshman Team
  • Played in 43 games with 37 starts, 20 at third base, nine as designated hitter and eight as catcher
  • Led the team with a .381 batting average and a .437 on-base percentage while recording 51 hits, 23 RBIs, nine doubles, three triples and 16 walks
  • Had six sacrifice flies, tied for fourth in a single season in team history
  • Had three game-winning hits
  • Recorded 15 multi-hit games and seven multi-RBI contests
  • Had an 11-game hit streak and a 13-game reached base streak
  • Drove in two runs on two hits and scored a run against No. 5 Texas Tech on May 26 at the Big 12 Championship
  • Drove in the eventual game-winning run on May 15 against William & Mary
  • Had six hits, five RBIs and scored five runs in WVU’s series sweep of Texas from May 6-8
  • Named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Week on May 2 after hitting .571 and leading the team with eight hits, a .929 slugging percentage and 13 total bases and adding four RBIs in four games from April 27-30 while making his career debut at third base
  • Singled in the 10th inning to bring home the winning run at Marshall on April 5
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Most successful White Sox eighth-round pick: Clayton Richard, LHSP, 2005, Michigan

Last year’s eighth-round pick: Andrew Perez, LHRP, South Florida