White Sox

White Sox: History not kind to teams at No. 8 in MLB Draft

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White Sox: History not kind to teams at No. 8 in MLB Draft

If history really does repeat itself, the White Sox might already be out of luck with the eighth selection in the 2015 MLB Draft. 

On Monday, Rick Hahn and the White Sox will have the task of finding the next big piece of the team's puzzle early in the first round. 

Last year, the Sox watched NC State hurler Carlos Rodon fall to them at No. 3 and the lefty has already made his way to the majors. 

College arms such as Vanderbilt's Carson Fulmer, Missouri State's Jon Harris and UC Santa Barabara's Dillon Tate have been linked to the South Siders in some mock drafts.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

The White Sox already have some experience picking eighth. In 2008, they took Georgia infielder Gordon Beckham, who hasn't become a star that some expected but has carved out a veteran role on the team.

The most notable selection at No. 8 over the past 20 years was the Rockies taking Tennessee first baseman Todd Helton (.316 369 HR) in 1995. 

But outside of Helton's potential Hall-of-Fame career, there have been plenty of disappointments.

[RELATED: Despite dearth of picks, White Sox confident heading into MLB Draft]

Casey Weathers (2007), Matt Wheatland (2000) and Bobby Bradley (1999) never made it to the majors. Wade Townsend (2004, 2005) was picked twice at No. 8 but never surfaced outside of the minors and ended up becoming a professional poker player instead. 

Guys like Felipe Lopez (1998) and Paul Maholm (2003) found some success at the major-league level but not enough to make a substantial impact.

The jury is still out on guys like Mike Leake (2009) and Drew Stubbs (2006), but the early returns are not promising. 

The most frustrating piece of history for that pick could be the players who went just one spot before: Frank Thomas (1989), Prince Fielder (2002), Troy Tulowitzki (2005), Clayton Kershaw (2006) and Matt Harvey (2010), among others. 

Maybe some of the most recent No. 8 picks, Francisco Lindor (2011) or Kyle Freeland (2014), can reverse that trend, but for now the pressure is on Hahn to hit again with this year's pick, considering the Sox won't pick again until No. 112.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Rebuild advice from 3 Houston Astros All-Stars

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Rebuild advice from 3 Houston Astros All-Stars

With the White Sox in the middle of a rebuild, Chuck Garfien spoke with 3 Houston Astros All-Stars who explained how they went from a rebuilding team to World Series champions. Jose Altuve, George Springer and Alex Bregman talk about how they dealt with losing, how they learned how to win, the importance of adding veterans to the young core, and how they kept hope alive during the rebuild.  Then later, Chuck spoke with Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Lorenzo Cain trying to understand how he dominated the White Sox for so many years.

Jose Abreu didn't come to White Sox looking for leadership role, but he's the face of the franchise on the All-Star stage

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USA TODAY

Jose Abreu didn't come to White Sox looking for leadership role, but he's the face of the franchise on the All-Star stage

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Jose Abreu didn’t come to the White Sox to be a leader. But that’s what he is as he took his spot among the best in baseball at Tuesday night’s All-Star Game.

Abreu is the face of the South Side baseball club and he’s had a stellar-enough first four and a half seasons in Major League Baseball to earn the distinction of a starter in the Midsummer Classic. But Abreu, unsurprisingly, doesn’t look at himself as one of the best in the game. He looks as himself as a hard-worker.

“I don’t believe that I’m the best,” Abreu said through a team translator on Monday. “I’m just a person who likes to work hard every day and try to do my best.”

That humility is nothing new to folks who follow the White Sox on a regular basis. And neither is talk of Abreu’s work ethic, the admiration of everyone involved with the team and a constant talking point from Rick Hahn, Rick Renteria and all Abreu’s teammates.

Abreu has become as important for his off-the-field roles as he has for his on-the-field production for this rebuilding White Sox team. He’s been described as a role model for all the young players in the organization, whether they’re on the big league roster right now or coming up through the system.

“None of them have told me that yet,” Abreu joked. “But I know that. It’s definitely a compliment, and I take it as something that makes you feel good, something that makes you keep moving forward and to keep trying to help the guys to improve and get better as a team. You feel like that is a big honor, that people think that way of you.”

As good as he feels to be held in such esteem, Abreu didn’t set out to be one of this team’s leaders when he came to the United States. And to be honest, he might not be in his current position if it weren’t for the team’s rebuilding effort. Abreu is one of the few veterans on this team.

“That was something that happened. I didn’t look for it,” Abreu said. “I was always trying to help people and trying to give advice to help people to improve. But I never tried to be a leader. If people say that because of what I do, that’s good, but that’s not something that I’m trying to force or something that I say, ‘I want to be a leader.’ No, that’s not who I am. I am just the kind of person who likes to help people, who likes to give advice.”

Abreu is seemingly the definition of what the White Sox want their next winning roster to be full of. And whether it’s the special relationship he has with fellow Cuban Yoan Moncada or the role-model status he holds in the eyes of his other teammates, both current and future, he’s helping the White Sox develop those kinds of players.

Oh, and he’s generally — though this season has seen an extended slump and atypical numbers — one of the most consistently productive hitters in the game.

Who wouldn’t want all that as the face of the franchise?

“It’s all a blessing. I can’t ask for anything else,” Abreu said. “I’m a true believer that if you work hard, good things are going to happen. That’s why I work hard every day, I try to do my best, I try to improve every day and just to be a better person. Not just a better player, but a better person.”