White Sox Mock Draft Roundup: Planning for June 10

Our 2020 MLB draft coverage has been in a bit of a holding pattern while waiting for the details of the actual draft. Will it be in June, July or August? Will it be five rounds, 10 rounds or more (I wish)? Which players are harder to sign after seasons that barely started?

The answer to the first question seems to be more or less resolved, as both Jon Heyman and Joel Sherman reported on Tuesday that Major League Baseball will adhere to the original June 10 date, conducted remotely. Sherman added in his story at the New York Post that Rob Manfred is still deciding between five and 10 rounds, which would determine whether the draft would require one or two days.

Also on Tuesday, Jonathan Mayo released his first mock draft at MLB.com. Baseball America is already three mocks deep, so we can get started on our regular-from-here surveys of the most established projections. Keith Law said he’ll be rolling his first out in the next 2-3 weeks, but we can start without him.

Josh has tracked these players since the start of the season, whereas I’m just starting to turn my attention to it now. Which one of us provides the more valuable insight? You make the call.

MLB.com (April 28)

White Sox select: Heston Kjerstad, OF, Arkansas

Mayo’s take: “The White Sox haven’t taken a high schooler in the first round since 2013 and Kjerstad has as much raw power as any college bat not named [Spencer] Torkelson.”

Josh’s take: Kjerstad was off to a fast start in 2020 before the stoppage, hitting .448/.513/.791 with six home runs and 20 RBI. Kjerstad has been a very dependable bat since he walked on campus at Fayetteville, posting .972 OPS his freshman year and a .978 OPS his sophomore season. The power is legit. Kjerstad does a good job utilizing a leg kick to build his load while staying balanced through the zone. The downside is that Kjerstad strikes out far more than he walks (118 strikeouts to 47 walks in his college career), which raises questions about his plate vision and discipline. Athletically, Kjerstad is limited to only right field, and he played some first base during the Fall.

My take: Hey, they’d get themselves an Arkansas outfielder after seeing Andrew Benintendi picked one spot ahead of Carson Fulmer in 2015. Also, his spoonerism sounds like a Norwegian Keston Hiura.

Baseball America (April 15)

White Sox select: Garrett Crochet, LHP, Tennessee

BA’s take: “Crochet has plenty of upside to offer and I also think a college player would make sense considering Chicago’s window. This seems to be the range where Arkansas outfielder Heston Kjerstad’s market could really open up.”

Josh’s take: Making most of his appearances out of the bullpen his first two years at Tennessee, Crochet was to be the Vols Friday night starter in 2020. That was before an arm injury caused him to miss the first three weeks of the season. Crochet did appear in one game this season, pitching 3⅓ innings striking out six and allowed only two hits. The arsenal is impressive as Crochet sits mid-90’s with his fastball and has hit 98 mph in games. He pairs it with a slider that tunnels well and is unfair for left-handed hitters to face.

My take: There’d be a popcorn sponsorship with his name on it. BA’s draft has Mount Carmel shortstop Ed Howard going to the Dodgers with the No. 29 pick, which brings to mind the Gavin Lux discussions of 2016.

(Photo of Heston Kjerstad by Andy Altenburger/Icon Sportswire)

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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asinwreck

Hoping for Asa Lacy to drop, between talent and name value.

Given the unusual financial parameters of the 2020 draft and Jerry Reinsdorf being Jerry Reinsdorf, how likely is it that ownership forbids Mike Shirley to take a high school player in the first round? (Related, is 2021 going to be an amazing year for Juco baseball?)

lil jimmy

BA, MLB, and Fangraphs have all three High School pitchers right in the Sox wheelhouse. To ignore them because they are 18 would be a dereliction of duty.

lil jimmy

I read what Kieth said. If players are equal, take the one that is not the high school pitcher. The problem is there are three players, not two. All three are high school pitchers.

LamarJohnson

Jim’s article on the 95 White Sox got me checking out the 1990 draft. Can you believe that the Sox selected 4 pitchers (Fernandez, Wickman, Baldwin, Bere) and 1 position player (Durham) who all played in an All-Star Game? 3 were high schoolers, and Fernandez was junior college. Those were amazing times.

lil jimmy

It has to be pitching. You can’t have enough! Garrett Crochet, LHP, Tennessee is a pitcher with great stuff, so so results and health questions.
Let’s make a better choice.

GrinnellSteve

I don’t study amateur players, and I’m not a scout. I have to rely on the expertise of others.

The descriptions of these two players do not excite me. A bat-first corner who might have to go to first and strikes out too much? Next. A pitcher who has yet to stand up to a college starter’s workload and has arm problems? There has to be a better choice out there somewhere.

I agree with Jimmy. We need pitching.

egib52

I personally think pitching is too volatile (see all the TJs and lack of development in the system currently), I am in the camp of buying pitching in free agency. I would much prefer going after toolsy position players (Howard) or position players with highly rated tools. Gallo slid in part because teams thought he had to much swing and miss, but if we get someone with a standout tool hopefully (I know very little history) we can develop him.

Josh Nelson

Additional Notes/Thoughts:

– Crochet: The downside is two-fold. For starters, each MLB team would need more information about Crochet’s health, and I imagine some would want a physical done pre-draft. Even if Crochet is healthy, his profile might fit better as a reliever like Andrew Miller or Josh Hader.

– The 2020 MLB Draft Average Rankings Database will be made available shortly for Sox Machine Patreon supporters. Heston Kjerstad is the 11th ranked prospect; Gerritt Crochet is 16th.

lil jimmy

I clicked on the Gavin Lux discussion and found out I wrote it!

metasox

Have the Sox been linked to Howard at all? I saw one mock that had him going as high as #6 to Seattle. He is definitely worth a look

Josh Nelson

From what I have heard when asking around, is that the White Sox could be Ed Howard’s ceiling.

lil jimmy

Drafting Ed Howard would be a great story. the kind of feel good story with legs for decades. He is the best High school infielder in the draft. Everybody would get behind it. Nine years Anderson’s junior. Passing the torch….