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2023 MLB Draft: White Sox select Jacob Gonzalez in first round

by Michael Suareo

After being a true wild card in mock drafts, the White Sox finally revealed their preference, and with the 15th pick, the club selected Jacob Gonzalez.

Mike Shirley took over as amateur scouting director in 2019, and in his three drafts prior, he had taken a college pitcher, a prep bat, and a prep pitcher in the first round. In 2023, he completed the cycle by drafting the only demographic left. A shortstop from Ole Miss, Jacob Gonzalez is a left-handed power bat that should move quickly through the system.

An accomplished player at the collegiate level, Gonzalez earned National Freshman of the Year honors in 2021, lead Ole Miss to their first CWS Championship ever, and started at ShortStop for the US Collegiate Team.

Draft Pick Analysis

Projections on Jacob Gonzalez are a bit all over the place. Some love the left-handed power and believe he can stick at shortstop, while others don’t believe there is a ton of upside and that his future is at the hot corner. One thing is for sure, Jacob Gonzalez did nothing but produce for three years in the best conference in collegiate baseball. He immediately steps in as one of the top prospects in the White Sox farm system and should move quickly through the ranks.

His carrying tool is his raw power from the left side of the plate, as many believe he can be a 25-30 home run player at the major league level. His hit tool is also at least above average, as he controls the strike zone well. Viewed as a below-average defender, whether he can stick at the shortstop position will be the biggest question Gonzalez faces. He has good actions at the position, but his lack of range may force a shift to third base, where his arm strength and power profile will fit well.

Background Information

Name: Jacob Gonzalez
School: Ole Miss
Position: Shortstop
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 200 lbs
B/T: L/R
DOB: 05/30./2002

MLB Pipeline Grades:

  • Hit: 55
  • Power: 55
  • Run: 40
  • Arm: 55
  • Field: 50
  • Overall: 55

Draft Rankings:

  • MLB Pipeline: 18
  • Baseball America: 11
  • Fangraphs: 37
  • Keith Law (The Athletic): 22
  • Prospects Live: 7

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Featured Image: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

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