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There’s little clarity on which direction the Chicago White Sox could go with their first-round pick ten days from now. Last year, the drum beat for Colson Montgomery got louder and louder leading up to the draft making it clear he was the White Sox preferred first-round choice. So far, that decision is looking great. Montgomery is now on MLB.com’s Top 100 Prospect list and continues to find ways to reach on-base in 40-plus straight games.
Even though it’s not currently clear who will be the White Sox preferred target at Pick 26, the types of players that will be available are in focus. Even though the teams drafting in the Top 15 are not considering many of the college starting pitchers, the White Sox could have their pick of the litter. While I think it’s an unlikely direction, a few college outfielders should be available, too.
If the White Sox wanted to try and duplicate last year’s strategy of drafting a prep bat, I believe that direction would be Tucker Toman. However, the White Sox must add more pitching to their farm system.
Below are the players I would target if running the White Sox draft covering their first three rounds.
Pick 26: Blade Tidwell, RHP, Tennessee
Pick Slot Value: $2,788,000
Signing Bonus Guess: Slot
After watching Blade Tidwell against Alabama back in April, I thought he could be a good target for the White Sox. Primarily a fastball-slider pitcher now, Tidwell can possess a mid-90s four-seamer and the ability to throw multiple breaking pitches. Following the models of Dylan Cease and Michael Kopech. He can throw a changeup against left-handers but will need more time.
Speaking of time, Tidwell didn’t throw many innings in 2022 thanks to an injury that kept him sidelined until March 30th. Tennessee coaching staff did an excellent job of easing Tidwell back into work and kept him below 100 pitches thrown in any appearance this season. Tidwell had only one appearance where he went more than five innings which was on June 3rd against Alabama State in NCAA Regionals. Tidwell went 7.2 scoreless innings allowing just three hits while striking out seven. In his last college appearance, Notre Dame beat Tidwell for five runs in three innings.
The White Sox would be getting a right-handed pitcher with two-plus pitches that could rise through their farm system. It probably would be best to give him the rest of 2022 off from game action to ensure his injury is fully healed before a full workload in 2023.
Pick 62: Bryce Hubbart, LHP, Florida State
Pick Slot Value: $1,158,600
Signing Bonus Guess: Slot
Bryce Hubbart had a very strong to the 2022 season, where he struck out 51 batters in his first five starts. Then he hit a midseason slump that saw him miss a start in late April. Hubbart would bounce back the following week with his best start of 2022, where he pitched seven scoreless innings, only allowing one hit while striking out 11 batters.
It’s a four-pitch mix profile for Hubbart, who throws a low 90’s four-seamer with two breaking pitches (slider and curve) and a changeup. While his strikeout totals are impressive (96 K’s in 76 IP), Hubbart does need to improve his control of the four-seamer. At times, Hubbart misses arm side that watches his four-seamer sail wide away from right-handed hitters. The slider is a very effective strikeout pitch when he can locate the four-seamer, especially inside on righties.
Pick 101: Trey Lipscomb, Third Baseman, Tennessee
Pick Slot Value: $606,300
Signing Bonus Guess: $500,000
As a 22-year-old Senior, Trey Lipscomb doesn’t have a lot of leverage when it comes to draft negotiations. But when you hit .355/.428/.717 with 22 HR and 84 RBI against quality college opponents, that draws attention to Lipscomb for teams hoping to add an advanced bat into their farm system.
Watching Lipscomb throughout the season, I’m most impressed by his power to right-center field. He has an excellent swing path with the barrel whipping through the zone.
Again, Lipscomb is on the older side but is worth a $500,000 bonus to prove he can still swing a hot bat in the minors.
Full First Round Mock
|1||Orioles||Druw Jones||OF||Wesleyan HS (GA)|
|2||Diamondbacks||Jackson Holliday||SS||Stillwater HS (OK)|
|3||Rangers||Elijah Green||OF||IMG Academy (FL)|
|4||Pirates||Cam Collier||3B||Chipola JC|
|5||Nationals||Termarr Johnson||2B||Mays HS (GA)|
|6||Marlins||Brooks Lee||SS||Cal Poly|
|7||Cubs||Kevin Parada||C||Georgia Tech|
|8||Twins||Gavin Cross||OF||Virginia Tech|
|9||Royals||Brock Porter||RHP||Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Prep (MI)|
|11||Mets||Justin Crawford||OF||Bishop Gorman HS (NV)|
|12||Tigers||Jace Jung||2B||Texas Tech|
|15||Padres||Kumar Rocker||RHP||Tri-City ValleyCats|
|16||Guardians||Cole Young||SS||North Allegheny HS (PA)|
|17||Phillies||Brandon Barriera||LHP||American Heritage Plantation HS (FL)|
|20||Braves||Jett Williams||SS||Rockwell-Heath HS (TX)|
|22||Cardinals||Chase DeLauter||OF||James Madison|
|23||Blue Jays||Connor Prielipp||LHP||Alabama|
|24||Red Sox||Dylan Beavers||OF||Cal|
|26||White Sox||Blade Tidwell||RHP||Tennessee|
|27||Brewers||Justin Campbell||RHP||Oklahoma State|
|29||Rays||Jackson Ferris||LHP||IMG Academy (FL)|
|30||Giants||Cooper Hjerpe||LHP||Oregon State|
|31||Rockies||Eric Brown||SS||Coastal Carolina|
|32||Reds||Carson Whisenhunt||LHP||East Carolina|
|33||Orioles||Tucker Toman||3B||Hammond HS (SC)|
|35||Royals||Jacob Miller||RHP||Liberty Union HS (OH)|
|37||Guardians||Ian (JR) Ritchie||RHP||Bainbridge Island HS (WA)|
|39||Padres||Landon Sims||RHP||Mississippi State|