Sporcle Saturday: White Sox draft picks worth >5 WAR

Over the last week here on Sox Machine, we’ve been looking at the various prospects currently matriculating their way through the system. Far be it from me to buck that trend, so today’s Sporcle Saturday will be riffing on that theme; specifically: since the MLB June amateur draft was instituted in 1965, who among White Sox draftees have made it to the big leagues for Chicago AND been worth at least 5 wins above replacement during their career? In total, that gives us 39 players: how many can you name? Good luck!

Quiz Parameters

  • To qualify, a player must have 1) been drafted by the Sox AND signed with them; 2) reached the majors with Chicago (so players like Gio Gonzalez don’t make the cut), and; 3) accumulated at least 5 bWAR or greater during their career, though not necessarily all with the Sox.
  • I’ve allotted 15 minutes for completion attempts.
  • For hints, I’ve provided the year and round the player in question was drafted, as well as the accumulated value and primary position(s).

Useless information to amaze, annoy, confuse, and/or confound your friends and family:

  • While some of the recent drafts have been disappointing (looking at you, 2012), the 1984 draft was particularly barren: just 3 players the Sox drafted that year made it to the majors, for an accumulated value of -3.3 WAR.
  • Several players the Sox drafted who didn’t sign with Chicago, but would achieve success later on with a different team: Eric Gagne (30th rd., 1994), Placido Polanco (49th rd., 1993), Mike Lowell (48th rd., 1992), Jimmy Key (10th rd., 1979), Willie McGee (7th rd., 1976).
  • Looking at first round draft picks only, 46/70 have reached the majors, which is a 63% success rate. The league average is 61.8%, so there’s that, at least.

Direct link here

All data from baseballreference.com

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Ted Mulvey
Ted Mulvey

White Sox fan, homebrewer, academic librarian. Not necessarily in that order, but quite possibly.

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Josh Nelson

Good timing! Our 2019 MLB Draft coverage starts later this week and includes a breakdown of the White Sox first round picks.

EDIT: My phone is jacked and I see the RD. Great quiz, Ted!




Boomer 31/39. Chalk another one up for the bad guy. 


28/39 which was better than I thought I would have done. Two or three others I should have had, the rest were faded memories.


34/39, and I somehow forgot how to spell the local furniture store owner’s son from 1977.

1984 was a catastrophe when you consider who the Sox took in the first round and the list of names taken immediately thereafter.

Jim Margalus

It’s impressive in its own way that Clayton Richard is 10 years into an MLB career and isn’t on this list.


No Magglio? Was he drafted by someone else?


These are draftees, not international free agents.


I went on a run and got

, and

I’m wondering why no

Bucky Dent
? He’d been previously draft by St. Louis, but drafted by Sox in 1970.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Mike Cameron had a helluva career.

Trooper Galactus

24/39. Only two players in the last 20 years drafted by the White Sox have produced 10+ WAR. One was traded before he had a big breakout. Is that bad? Because it feels really, really bad. 1979-1998 there were 11. 1965-1978 we had 7. Yeah, it’s probably bad.

Oh well, I’m confident Timmay will get there in 2019. Regardless, this team needs to get back to drafting foundational pieces, or we’re right back where we started.


26/39 – that was a particularly fun one. I could/should have gotten 30 realistically. Mixed up

Ruffcorn with Radinsky
when guessing, and I knew the 2003 OF was the
player traded to Oakland along with Gio to get FNS
, but couldn’t come up with the name.


32/39. That was a really good quiz!

Patrick Nolan

Got 29 and somehow missed Nate Jones. I stared at that one for several minutes before punting. Missed Al Levine and didn’t miss anyone else post-1978, per usual.