ARLINGTON, Texas — The White Sox have neither a top-three pick nor second and third-round selections in next week’s MLB Draft, as the club did in 2014.
By virtue of signing closer David Robertson and outfielder Melky Cabrera over the winter, the White Sox lost their 2015 second and third-round draft picks — picks the club used last year to select pitching prospects Spencer Adams and Jace Fry.
After picking eighth, the White Sox won’t make another selection until pick No. 112. But general manager Rick Hahn is confident he and the team’s front office can still put together a strong draft class to add talent and depth to the minor league ranks.
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“Without a second and third and not picking third, it’s going to be a little tough,” Hahn said. “Over the years, our staff has done a really nice job outside of the first couple, higher profile picks. Marcus Semien I believe was a fifth rounder, Micah Johnson was a ninth rounder. There have been valuable guys a little bit deeper outside those first few rounds.
“In some ways, it’s a little more pure scouting or old school scouting. There’s no economic element to that side when you start going deeper in the draft and our area guys in particular get kind of excited by finding some that we can take later, outside of the first few picks, who then becomes a valuable guy for us.”
But the focus remains on that No. 8 pick, which represents the first time since 1989-1990 the White Sox have had back-to-back top-10 draft picks.
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Baseball America’s latest mock draft has the White Sox taking UC-Santa Barbara right-hander Dillon Tate with that first-round pick. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Tate is a closer-turned-starter with an upper-90’s fastball, a plus slider and a developing changeup, per USA Today (which ranked Tate as the top college prospect in this year’s draft).
Hahn won’t tip his hand as to who the White Sox are looking at, but he did say he’s not worried about the level of talent available at No. 8 in what some analysts consider a weak draft.
“We are going to get a good player at eight,” Hahn said. “We feel real good about who will likely be available there and the number of names we have in our mix there at eight.”