After a 72-89 finish to the 2019 season, the White Sox will be drafting 11th during the 2020 draft in Omaha. This is the lowest pick the team has had in several years, an obvious sign of improvement, but they should still be able to snag an impact talent in that slot. Who should Sox fans keep an eye on as the college and high school seasons begin in a couple months? The organization is notorious for taking a college player in the first round, but with several prospects on the cusp of the Major Leagues, maybe they go younger to add talent to the “next wave.” Obviously, with a whole high school and college season to play, the rankings may change drastically, but let’s take a look at some players from both levels that may be of interest to the White Sox with the 11th pick.
Blaze Jordan | 1B/3B | DeSoto Central High School – Southaven, MS
Jordan is currently only 16 years old, but at 6-foot-2, 218-pounds, he has the size of a Major League player, with room to grow. High School players are hard to project but Jordan may have the best raw hitting ability and power of any high schooler in the draft. He also touches 92 mph on the mound. During his career, he’s rotated between 1B and 3B, and there are questions about whether or not he’ll stick at 3B, but defensive questions are normal with high schoolers. The White Sox don’t have an obvious hole at 3B, and their first-round pick last year was used on a 1B, but the White Sox could take the best player available and worry about positional fits later.
Jared Kelley | RHP | Refugio High School – Refugio, TX
With a 6-foot-2, 200-pound frame and a fastball that tops out at 99 mph, Kelley has the makings of a top line Major League starter. He has a nasty breaking ball to go with the hard fastball. If he can harness the stuff and establish a solid third pitch, his ceiling is enormous. Barring injury, he at least projects as a solid late inning reliever, but should be given every opportunity to start. High school pitchers are always a risk, but Kelley might have the highest upside of this year’s class. He could be worth the gamble if he’s still on the board at 11.
Dylan Crews | OF | Lake Mary High School – Longwood, FL
Standing at 6-feet, 195 pounds, Crews is an athletic, dynamic hitter with a chance to stick in CF. He has exceptional bat-to-ball skills, with power to all fields and above-average speed. His arm isn’t great but has improved as he’s gotten stronger. If he can improve the arm a bit and effectively adjust to pro-level pitching, he could potentially be a 5-tool CF.
Austin Hendrick | OF | West Allegheny High School – Imperial, PA
Listed at 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, Hendrick has been praised for his elite bat speed and raw power. He struggles to hit off speed pitches, but that is normal for a high schooler. He’s not the fastest runner in the draft, and his arm isn’t great, so he’ll probably end up in a corner OF spot. However, his power and elite hard contact rate should allow him to stick. His upside may not be quite as high as a couple of the other outfielders, but his bat should definitely play in the big leagues.
J.T. Ginn | RHP | Mississippi State
With a mid-90s fastball and mid-80s wipeout slider, Ginn was drafted in the 30th round by the Dodgers out of high school. He attended Mississippi State and emerged as one of the top college arms. At 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, he has the frame to be a major league starter. He struck out 105 hitters and only walked 19 in 86.1 innings in 2019, so his control has been there throughout college. His fastball isn’t overpowering but it is solid, and the establishment of a good third pitch will benefit him greatly. Ginn would be a high floor option that could still be on the board.
Patrick Bailey | C | NC State
Bailey is currently projected to go in the 10-12 range of the draft, but if he repeats the season he had last year, he could easily go top 5. A switch-hitting catcher with very good defensive projections, Bailey had a breakout season offensively in 2019. Catchers that play good defense are already very valuable, and adding a major league quality bat makes him an elite talent (see Adley Rutschman). Despite signing Yasmani Grandal, if a player of Bailey’s skill set is still available when the White Sox pick at 11, it may be too good to pass on.
Reid Detmers | LHP | Louisville
The second ranked southpaw in the class, Detmers led all of the NCAA in wins in 2019 and finished second in strikeouts with 167. His fastball is not overpowering, but his command is exceptional, and his curveball is filthy. The White Sox have a shortage of left-handers in the system, and Detmers could be a fairly quick riser. It is also worth noting that Detmers attended high school in Illinois.
Cole Wilcox | RHP | Georgia
A projected 1st round talent out of high school, Wilcox has a polished approach to go with a fastball that touches 98, and could be one of the first players to reach the majors from this draft class. Overshadowed a bit by teammate Emerson Hancock, a projected top 3 pick, Wilcox has almost as much upside, and maybe a higher floor. If the White Sox are looking for a fast-rising arm that could contribute to the major league club as quickly as late 2021, Wilcox is a solid pick.
- Nick Gonzalves, 2B, Notre Dame
- Tanner Burns, RHP, Auburn
- Freddy Zamora, SS, Miami
- Ed Howard, SS, Mount Caramel HS, Chicago, IL
- Nate Savino, RHP, Potomac Falls HS, Potomac, VA
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Featured Photo: Chris Tejeda/@Fotogenocide_