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White Sox select RHSP Jake Peppers in the ninth round (No. 269 overall)

A high-upside guy who didn’t do all that well in college, but if everything progresses as he fills out, he can remain a starter

Will Jake Peppers stay (as a starter) or go (to the bullpen)?
| Jake Peppers: Instagram

With the 269th overall pick in the 2023 MLB draft the White Sox selected Jake Peppers. He is another tweener of a pitcher, but MLB Pipeline is under the impression will stick in the bullpen. He struggled with command in college at Jacksonville State throughout his career. In 140 innings, he walked 81 batters. On the flip side, he showed a little bit in terms of a wipeout pitch (slider), so he worked in 143 strikeouts. Last season was Peppers’ best in terms of control, but not a big enough improvement to warrant a top pick.

The hope here is that he fills into his 6´3´´ frame and gains some bulk from his current listed weight of 160 pounds. That, hopefully, puts his low-mid-90s fastball up to the high 90s. The slider is his go-to with a 56% swing-and-miss rate. That is why he is a tweener.

If Peppers cannot get his third pitch, a changeup, more developed, he doesn’t look like a bad two-pitch reliever. He ranks 187th per MLB Pipeline in this draft, purely on projections and the glimpses he showed in college and the Cape Cod League, where he corralled a 2.60 ERA in 17 1⁄3 innings at the high-level college summer league.

Jake Peppers’ Baseball Cube Talent Ratings

Durability 100
Strikeouts 73
vs. Power 52
Hittable 52
K/BB 32
Walks 21
Team Winning Pct. .491

2023 Chicago White Sox Draft Picks

First Round (No. 15 overall) Jacob González, SS (ranked No. 18 on MLB Pipeline)
Second Round (No. 51 overall) Grant Taylor, RHSP (ranked No. 102 on MLB Pipeline)
Third Round (No. 84 overall) Seth Keener, RHP (ranked No. 108 on MLB Pipeline)
Fourth Round (No. 116 overall) Calvin Harris, C (ranked No. 133 on MLB Pipeline)
Fifth Round (No. 152 overall) Christian Oppor, LHSP (ranked No. 225 on MLB Pipeline)
Sixth Round (No. 179 overall) Lucas Gordon, LHSP (not ranked)
Seventh Round (No. 209 overall) George Wolkow, OF (ranked No. 71 on MLB Pipeline)
Eighth Round (No. 239 overall) Eddie Park, CF (not ranked)
Ninth Round (No. 269 overall) Jake Peppers, RHP (ranked No. 187 on MLB Pipeline)

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