Arizona Fall League recap: Oct. 17, 2018

While the White Sox have struggled with their first-round picks as of late, key picks in later rounds can ultimately make up for it. The tough part is that the rewards get less likely by the middle of the second day.

That’s what makes Bryce Bush so fascinating. The 18-year-old hit .309/.396/.453 across the Arizona and Pioneer leagues, after being taken in the 33rd round, which is just about the territory where nepotism and charity comes into play.

Although calling Bush a 33rd-rounder is a little misleading, since the Sox paid him sixth-round money ($290,000). It’s a little bit like calling Mark Buehrle a 38th-rounder, when he was paid fifth-round money the following year as a draft-and-follow candidate.

James Fegan wrote up his case for The Athletic, and while it could be a case of the Sox winning a cold-weather situation with scouting, it starts with simple money.

Scouts don’t assess draft prospects so much in terms of round as much as the bonus value they would be willing to recommend to sign them, and players and their representation in turn approach things the same way. When the price ranges for players and teams don’t line up immediately — especially at the end of the second day of the draft — there can be a significant slide, but it also means the door is never shut if the right offer comes along. As a result, while Bush certainly thought it was likely he would have to start looking into apartments in Starkville, Mississippi when his name still hadn’t been called by the time the rounds got into the 30s, when the Sox came with an offer of $290,000, bonus money more typically seen in the sixth round, his reaction was pretty unambiguous.

“I mean honestly they told me what they would come up with and I was pretty much set with that,” Bush explained matter of factly.

But how did Bush specifically become a guy that slipped? White Sox scouting director Nick Hostetler is always cognizant of players from cold weather areas being underexposed during the months leading up to the draft, and noted that another cold and rainy spring in Michigan delayed the start to Bush’s season. That may have stalled his hype building up to an earlier June draft date than usual. But most expressly it seems like Bush was interested in a certain price point, and only certain teams had an area scout like Justin Wechsler pushing for him at that value, and were willing to double back at the end of the draft and push themselves further over their draft pool to get a deal done (The White Sox exceeded their pool allotment by almost $370,000 per FutureSox).

The Glendale Desert Dogs dropped to 0-7, this time in extra innings, although it was a fairly strong day for the White Sox prospects involved.

Scottsdale 2, Glendale 1

  • Luis Basabe went 2-for-4 with a walk and a stolen base.
  • Laz Rivera was 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.
  • Zack Burdi: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
  • Danny Dopico: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP
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Now there’s a line for Burdi! More, please.


Good to see that from Burdi. It’s a start.


A future back end of the pen with Hamilton, Fry and Burdi is something I could live with.


I don’t want to start the season with this being the plan, but if someone is ineffective and needs to be sent down or someone gets hurt, I would like to see a regular “bullpen day” with Covey, Fulmer, one of the AAA trio of SP’s Bummer, Burr etc. the pen looks to be a future strength and I think it can help us win games next year.  While auditioning players also.