White Sox stick with pitchers over final three rounds of 2020 MLB Draft

(Photo of Kade Mechals by Cody Glenn/isiphotos.com)

When the White Sox followed up their selection of Tennessee lefty Garrett Crochet (definite first-round material) by picking Texas prep righty Jared Kelley (definite first-round material), it foreshadowed some cost-cutting over the final three rounds of the draft.

Mike Shirley stuck to his word about interest in pitching, as the White Sox selected three more arms to go 5-for-5 over the draft’s two days. They just weren’t taken in order of draft stock. The Sox used their third and fourth-round on off-the-radar fliers that should indeed free up money for Kelley, before wrapping up with an SEC starter whose upside requires far less squinting.

Third round: Adisyn Coffey, SS/RHP, Wabash Valley CC

“Adisyn” sounds like an anticoagulent recalled due to the side effect of real thick blood, but it’s the name of an Indiana product who played juco ball just on the other side of the state line in Mount Carmel.

At 21, he’s older than the typical juco player, but he’s bounced around quite a bit. He starting his collegiate career at Arizona State, dropped down to San Jacinto College, then headed to Wabash Valley.

He’s also bounced between positions, on he’s the verge of transitioning from the infield to the mound. He’s committed to Louisville, where he was expected to slot into the Cardinals bullpen. He can run it up to 95 with a slider, so the Sox might want to see what that looks like when it’s the only thing he’s doing.

Some White Sox scouts have a history with him, as he played on their Area Codes Game team in 2016.

Fourth Round: Kade Mechals, Grand Canyon University

Mechals is more along the lines of that traditional senior signing, a 5-foot-11-inch sinker-slider righty who returned to Grand Canyon after a successful junior season only merited a 40th round pick by the Marlins. He only made three starts for the Antelopes this year — all on Friday night — but his season wasn’t halted only by the pandemic. He had Tommy John surgery in May.

Fifth Round: Bailey Horn, LHP, Auburn

A redshirt junior who missed most of 2018 due to Tommy John surgery, the 6-foot-2-inch Horn posted an unimpressive first full season with Auburn in 2019 (6.08 ERA, 28 strikeouts to 17 walks over 34.1 IP), but looked poised for a step forward if his first four starts of 2020 were any indication. He struck out 27 batters against five walks over 17⅓ innings.

The word on him is a decent fastball-slider combination — velocity in the low 90s and a slider that could be plus — along with an OK changeup and meh curveball. Baseball America’s scouting report says that the latter two pitches suffer from a lack of consistency in his arm slot. He’s got enough pitches and control — and perhaps room to improve before physical limitations come into play — to stay as a starter until he can’t, but relief is a credible fallback option.

Of the last three pitchers taken, Horn is the only one that cracked the rankings, showing on Baseball America’s Top 500 list at No. 314, and FanGraphs’ BOARD at No. 172.

The White Sox picked guys who will allow them to move money around, and here’s the kind of money they’ll be shifting:

  1. $4.55M
  2. $1.58M
  3. $733,100
  4. $517,400
  5. $386,600

Horn might not require full slot value to sign, but he’s got by far the best case of the bunch. We’ll see how much money the Sox can allocate after Crochet and Kelley to keep his interest.

(Photo of Kade Mechals by Cody Glenn/isiphotos.com)

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lil jimmy

Like a tree falling in a forest. If there is no record of a pitcher pitching, is he a pitcher? Also, is he worth a 3rd round pick?

Eagle Bones

So who’s left out there that’s actually expected to sign for this lousy 20k? I’m assuming the HS guys are all going to college. Do the college juniors do the same? Or is that more of a mixed bag?

Josh Nelson

I’m working on a list to be posted before Sunday.

Josh Nelson

I have a list of 25 players. They are:
– College relievers
– College relievers who had TJ this year
– College starters who had TJ this year
– College first basemen and catchers
– Red Shirt Juniors (missed previous season due to injury)

Not exactly the cream of the crop, but I’ll post later.

Eagle Bones

Longenhagen partially answering my question about the college juniors:

University of Florida
Pitchers Tommy Mace (40+FV), Jack Leftwitch (40 FV), and Christian Scott (35+ FV) all went undrafted and will return to school as core elements of the Gators pitching staff (assuming an NBP team can’t poach one of them), while high school lefty Timmy Manning (35+ FV, a Florida commit) was undrafted. There are five other Gators on whom I currently have Day 1 grades for future drafts.

He also includes this about the Sox:

In order to fit Jared Kelley into their pool, the White Sox grabbed likely underslot pitchers Adisyn Coffey, a converted junior college infielder who was on the Sox Area Code team three years ago, and GCU’s Kade Mechals, who lives in the upper-80s, has a plus change, and had TJ in May.


Eagle Bones

Callis has Kelley as one of the three best picks in the draft (not shocking, I think MLB Pipeline had him 12 on their board).

The three best were Jarred Kelley (CWS), Cole Wilcox (SD) & Dillon Dingler (Det). And there were plenty of intriguing @MLBDraft picks after the 1st rd. https://t.co/7DMwiTZSgH

— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) June 12, 2020