How the 2020 White Sox were drafted: Where, when and by which teams
It’s downright impossible to create a contender through the draft alone.
The White Sox have put together their rebuilt roster, primed to jump into contention mode, via not only the draft but through trades, free-agent signings and international signings. But many of the current White Sox did start their pro careers through the draft.
With another sport’s draft taking center stage this weekend (and as we wait for baseball to return), here’s a look at how the members of the 2020 White Sox were drafted — where, when and by which teams.
Drafted: first round, 2013, White Sox
The White Sox spent the 17th overall pick in the 2013 draft on the future big league batting champ, selecting him out of a community college in Mississippi. Three years later, Anderson was in the big leagues, and three years after that he hit .335 to lead the majors. Of all the players taken in the first round in 2013, only Kris Bryant, Aaron Judge and Jon Gray have posted a higher career WAR than Anderson, and only Bryant has played in more major league games.
Drafted: 19th round, 2014, White Sox
Bummer, who emerged as a dominant setup man in 2019 and earned himself a contract extension during spring training, was a diamond-in-the-rough find by the White Sox, who waited until the 19th round to pluck him from the University of Nebraska in 2014. Bummer was a 31st-round pick of the Yankees three years earlier but opted to pitch in college.
Drafted: sixth round, 2014, Cubs
Cease famously joined the White Sox in the 2017 trade that also brought Eloy Jimenez to the South Side, but three years before that deal, he was picked by the Cubs out of a Georgia high school in 2014. He went one pick after the White Sox selected University of San Diego outfielder Louie Lechich.
Drafted: fifth round, 2007, Marlins
The veteran reliever is ready to see his first action with the White Sox 13 years after he was drafted by the Marlins out of Carson-Newman University in Tennessee. He spent parts of six big league seasons with the Fish before pitching for the Cardinals, Mariners, Rays and Cubs. He was drafted in the same round the White Sox took Nate Jones and went seven picks after former Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta.
Drafted: ninth round, 2000, Rangers
A native of the Dominican Republic, Encarnacion attended high school in Puerto Rico and was a ninth-round pick two decades ago. He was dealt to the Reds a year after he was drafted and traded to the Blue Jays years later, where he started his incredible (and active) streak of eight straight seasons of at least 32 home runs. Signed by the White Sox over the winter, Encarnacion ranks sixth on the active games played leaderboard, with 1,916.
Drafted: 19th round, 2013, White Sox
Picked out of the University of Louisville, Engel was flashing his leather in the big leagues four years later with fellow 2013 draftee Tim Anderson. The White Sox found Engel a year before they found Aaron Bummer in the same round.
Drafted: third round, 2014, White Sox
The White Sox selected one of their future bullpen arms out of Oregon State University in 2014, three years after Fry was a ninth-round pick of the A’s. He was the second of eight Oregon State Beavers selected in the 2014 draft.
Drafted: first round, 2012, Nationals
Giolito was the 16th overall pick in 2012 and ended up ranked the top pitching prospect in baseball before the White Sox acquired him in the 2016 deal that sent Adam Eaton to the Nationals. He lived up to that billing last season, making the AL All-Star team and finishing sixth in the AL Cy Young vote. A whopping 12 of the 15 players picked ahead of him have reached the major leagues, most notably World Series winning shortstops Carlos Correa and Addison Russell, as well as Giolito’s high school teammate Max Fried.
Drafted: first round, 2004, White Sox
The White Sox spent the 38th overall pick of the 2004 draft on Gonzalez, a Florida high schooler. Sixteen years later, he’s finally on the White Sox major league roster, but he’s still waiting to throw a pitch for the team that drafted him. He was the player to be named later in the Jim Thome-Aaron Rowand swap with the Phillies after the 2005 season, then he returned from the Phillies a year later when the White Sox traded Freddy Garcia. A year after that, he was sent to the A’s in the Nick Swisher trade, and from there he turned in a dozen big league seasons featuring a pair of All-Star appearances and a pair of top-six Cy Young finishes before finally returning to the South Side as a free agent over the winter. Better late than never, though, right?
Drafted: first round, 2010, Reds
Grandal made a wise move going to college after being picked by the Red Sox in the 27th round in 2007. Three years later, he was the 12th overall pick out of the University of Miami. He went one pick before the White Sox took Chris Sale. Grandal was traded before he ever made it to the big leagues with the Reds, as part of a four-player package in exchange for Mat Latos, but put together an All-Star career that landed him the richest free-agent deal in White Sox history back in November.
Drafted: seventh round, 2009, Astros
The Astros chose a future Cy Young winner out of the University of Arkansas seven rounds into the 2009 draft, 13 rounds before they took J.D. Martinez and 29 rounds before they took future White Sox infielder Tyler Saladino (he didn’t sign with Houston). Keuchel rose through the Astros’ system and won a World Series before signing a three-year free-agent deal with the White Sox over the winter.
Drafted: first round, 2014, Red Sox
The Texas high schooler was the 33rd overall pick in 2014, joining the Red Sox organization a little more than two years before they traded him to the White Sox alongside Yoan Moncada in the Chris Sale deal. Though Tommy John surgeries have thrown a wrench into things, the White Sox are set to have two 2014 first-rounders as part of their pitching staff. Carlos Rodon went 30 picks before Kopech.
Drafted: fourth round, 2011, Diamondbacks
The D-backs spent a fourth-rounder on Marshall, a Kansas State Wildcat, nine years ago. He spent three big league seasons in Arizona before bouncing around and ending up with the White Sox on a minor league deal ahead of the 2019 campaign, when he was terrific out of the South Side bullpen. In that fourth round in 2011, Marshall was chosen 11 picks before Mike Clevinger.
Drafted: second round, 2011, Tigers
McCann was a White Sox draft pick long before he found his way to the South Side as a free agent. The White Sox took him with a 31st-round pick in the 2008 draft. He opted to play at the University of Arkansas, a good call, as he improved his draft position by nearly 30 rounds over the following three years. McCann was selected in the same round as a pair of fellow 2019 All Stars, Josh Bell and Daniel Vogelbach, and went three picks ahead of future White Sox teammate Charlie Tilson.
Drafted: 22nd round, 2015, White Sox
A later-round pick out of UMass-Lowell, Mendick made his major league debut last season. He’s one of two players chosen in that 22nd round to make it to the bigs and one of three players from that White Sox draft class — along with Carson Fulmer and Seby Zavala — to reach the majors.
Drafted: first round, 2014, White Sox
Currently recovering from Tommy John surgery, Rodon was the highest White Sox draft pick since they took future Hall of Famer Harold Baines with the No. 1 overall pick in 1977. He was in the big leagues a year later and has continued to show flashes of brilliance while battling health issues. Once he returns from his recovery, he’ll be on the same staff as a fellow 2014 first-rounder. He was selected 30 picks ahead of Michael Kopech.