White Sox Mock Draft Roundup: Bailey’s still the base

When it comes to catchers, the White Sox and I could use a tiebreaker.

Two winters ago, James McCann was at the bottom of my list for potential free-agent catcher acquisitions. The White Sox went ahead and signed him, and McCann delivered an All-Star season for cheap.

After the season, the White Sox usurped him by signing Yasmani Grandal, even though McCann’s success gave them an excuse to look elsewhere if they wanted it, paying top dollar with a surprisingly straightforward pursuit.

So over the course of two winters, the White Sox have made the move I least wanted them to make, and the one I most wanted them to make.

A third catcher conundrum could be upon us, because the most recent mock drafts seem to tie NC State catcher Patrick Bailey to the White Sox at the 11th pick, at least in mocks where Bailey is available there. We discussed the unimpressive track record of best collegiate catchers available last week, and these projections continue to underwhelm me.

But perhaps the White Sox aren’t adequately whelmed, either. In James Fegan’s account of new scouting director Mike Shirley’s conference call with White Sox beat reporters, he says “a source has indicated the Sox are not as high on NC State catcher Patrick Bailey has mock drafts would suggest,” although he did nothing to besmirch Bailey or any other players on the call.

As we greet the start of Draft Week, let’s take a look at what last week’s mocks wrought. Eric Longenhagen will have a new one at FanGraphs on Monday according to his chat, and perhaps he’ll have some company.

MLB.com (June 3)

White Sox select: Patrick Bailey, C, NC State
Previous mock: Bailey

Jonathan Mayo is on board with Bailey just like his MLB Pipeline teammate Jim Callis. Also just like Callis, Mayo dropped a couple prep names that ordinarily wouldn’t interest the White Sox this high.

Mayo’s take: High school names are coming up here, like Tyler Soderstrom from California or Pittsburgh area prepster Austin Hendrick, but I still keep coming back to the fact that they haven’t taken a high school player in the first round since 2013.

Read more: 2020 MLB Draft Player Profile: Patrick Bailey

Keith Law (June 3)

White Sox select: Reid Detmers, LHP, Louisville
Previous mock: Bailey

After tying Bailey to the White Sox in his first two mock drafts, he now has Bailey going one pick earlier to the Angels. Like the MLB.com fellas, Law isn’t discounting a prep pick here, either.

Law’s take: “I have heard the White Sox aren’t wedded to taking a college player here, but it’s been ages since they went with a high school player in the first round — their organizational philosophy seems to be to take bigger risks when the opportunity cost is lower, which I understand completely — and Detmers does a lot of things they value in pitchers.”

Read more: 2020 MLB Draft Player Profile: Reid Detmers

Baseball America (June 3)

White Sox select: Bailey
Previous mock: Bailey

BA’s latest draft has some significant shifts, most notably Pennsylvania prep righty Nick Bitsko soaring up to San Diego at No. 8. This is the first mock I’ve seen that leaves Thompson Station’s* Robert Hassell available for the White Sox if they were interested in a prep outfielder. But when it comes to the pick at No. 11, it’s the familar choice.

Carlos Collazo’s take: “The frequency in which we’ve mocked Bailey to the White Sox likely overstates our confidence in this pick. However, he’s a great fit for this spot on the board and the White Sox have traditionally been heavy on college prospects. This would be the ninth straight college player Chicago has taken with its first-round pick.”

(*I suppose I should start shouting out Nashville locals now, shouldn’t I.)

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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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HallofFrank

A few months ago, it seemed like Detmers was solidly in the middle of the top 10 with little-to-no hope of reaching the Sox at #11, but that seems to have changed over the last two weeks or so. Perhaps it’s still unlikely, but it certainly seems possible/plausible now. What’s the story?

With no baseball, it’s tough to see how the rankings could fluctuate much—for HS or college. Are teams in the top 10 cooling on Detmers, finding other players they like better, or just looking to save money?

Eagle Bones

Are you talking about player rankings or mock drafts?

HallofFrank

Sorry, I said rankings but meant mock drafts.

Eagle Bones

Gotcha. Yeah I’m not sure this is really rankings of player moving, more that these writers are getting more specific intel from their sources re: who each team is in on whereas the earlier mocks are more conjecture and maybe more loose rumors they’re hearing.