After breaking recent trends with Colson Montgomery last year, the White Sox broke more trends with their first-round draft pick this season.
With the 26th overall pick, the organization selected Noah Schultz from Oswego East High School in Oswego, IL. Recent mock drafts and evaluators were pretty split on whether the White Sox would take a prep bat or college arm, and even up until draft time, no one really was sure which way the team would go. In the end, they decided to go a completely different route, taking the left-hander out of Illinois. Schultz is the first high school pitcher selected by the White Sox in the first round since RHP Kris Honel back in 2001 (Providence Catholic – New Lenox, IL).
Name: Noah Schultz
School: Oswego East High School (Oswego, IL)
Weight: 220 lbs
DOB: August 5, 2003 (Age: 18)
Committed: Vanderbilt University
MLB Pipeline Grades:
- Fastball: 55
- Slider: 60
- Changeup: 50
- Control: 50
- Overall: 50
- MLB Pipeline: 49th
- Baseball America: 51st
- Fangraphs: 56th
- Keith Law (The Athletic): 44th
- Prospects Live: 23rd
Why it Makes Sense
It’s no secret that outside of Norge Vera, the White Sox have very few pitching prospects that they are able to comfortably project and dream on. With Schultz, the organization is clearly hoping they’ve found an additional player to add to that list.
At 6’9, Schultz has what has been described as a “stupidly good arm” by Tyler Jennings of Prospects Live. He throws from a 3/4 slot that will no doubt elicit comparisons to Randy Johnson or Chris Sale. His fastball found its way as high as 97 during the Spring, and his best secondary pitch is a 3,000+ RPM slider that will give left-handers nightmares. His changeup, according to Jennings, could be an above-average pitch and has a lot of running action. As you’ll see in the Perfect Game video above, he hides the ball incredibly well but will need to fine-tune his fastball command. However, he has pretty clean and repeatable mechanics for how tall he is.
Schultz missed almost the entire Spring after contracting mono, but returned in the Spring and was carving up college-level players during summer leagues.
With Schultz, who is more of a top 40-50 pick rather than a true first-rounder, the White Sox must really like Schultz, as well as believe that he’s not as tough of a sign out of a Vanderbilt commitment that the industry believes he is. The White Sox have the third-lowest bonus pool allocation this year, so they will have to get creative to make it all work. However, it’s likely that taking Schultz here means that they feel they will be able to get an impressive arm that is projectable and easy to dream on.
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