White Sox select Jacob Gonzalez in first round of 2023 MLB draft

White Sox draft pick Jacob Gonzalez
Jacob Gonzalez/Ole Miss Athletics

The White Sox didn’t throw the 2023 MLB draft for a loop this year, as they selected Jacob Gonzalez out of Ole Miss in the first round (15th overall) of the 2023 MLB draft.

Mike Shirley shocked everybody when he selected Noah Schultz last year, but Gonzalez appeared in the final mock drafts of Sox Machine Podcast superfriends Josh Nelson and Jim Callis, so this is something closer to chalk.

Josh said:

I’m sticking with Ole Miss shortstop Jacob Gonzalez as he’s the best college hitter available. With how poorly Tim Anderson has been playing, I don’t think it’s a bad idea for the White Sox to add another quality shortstop to their system along with Colson Montgomery. Perhaps with Montgomery having better athleticism than Gonzalez, a move over to third base could be in the works.

What I like about Gonzalez is that I think the bat will play being a 50 contact / 50 power bat with sure hands and a good throwing arm to be an above-average major league shortstop. Gonzalez has also played on a National Championship team, and folks down in Oxford rave about his leadership skills.

You can read more about Gonzalez in the FutureSox draft profile, but to sum it up for those new in town…

What’s his game?

The 6-foot-2-inch, 200-pound shortstop leads with his left-handed bat. He hit .327/.435/.565 with 10 homers, 35 walks and just 28 strikeouts over 253 plate appearances in his junior year.

If you’re bullish on Gonzalez, you like his plate discipline, bat-to-ball ability and potential to stick at shortstop due to his hands, arms and instincts. If you’re bearish, you might look at his stepping-in-the-bucket swing and think that he might have trouble covering the outer third of the strike zone with authority, and his lack of speed will eventually relegate him to third base.

The pessimistic forecast isn’t especially gloomy, because everybody seems to like how he plays the game enough to forecast a reliable regular. But in a draft that features such intriguing top-end talent among the first five or so picks, Gonzalez didn’t offer some of the same explosive qualities, which is why he was available in the middle of the round.

Where does he rank?

What does he look like?

Any good anagrams?


The Top 14 picks

  1. Pirates: Paul Skenes, RHP, LSU
  2. Nationals: Dylan Crews, OF, LSU
  3. Tigers: Max Clark, OF, Franklin (Ind.) HS
  4. Rangers: Wyatt Langford, OF, Florida
  5. Twins: Walker Jenkins, OF, South Brunswick (N.C) HS
  6. Athletics: Jacob Wilson, SS, Grand Canyon
  7. Reds: Rhett Lowder, RHP, Wake Forest
  8. Royals: Blake Mitchell, C, Sinton (Tex.) HS
  9. Rockies: Chase Dollander, RHP, Tennessee
  10. Marlins: Noble Meyer, RHP, Jesuit (Ore.) HS
  11. Angels: Nolan Schanuel, 1B, FAU
  12. Diamondbacks: Tommy Troy,. SS, Stanford
  13. Cubs: Matt Shaw, SS, Maryland
  14. Red Sox: Kyle Teel, C, Virginia
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Going back 20 years, the only decent #15 overall pick who had a good career was Scott Kazmir. Other #15’s include Sean Newcomb, Alex Kirilloff, and our very own Brian Anderson. Nothing to rave about, but you never know, it’s such a roll of the dice.
Good luck to Jacob…and good luck to us. Sigh.


But also Lance Broadway….

Chase Utley would be a great comp…if it was true, but Chase was a much better hitter coming out of UCLA with significantly more power.

No reason to be down on this pick, but no reason to be excited either. It was worth it if it gets us past talking about Lenyn Sosa.


Utley’s college power may have been from the previous generation of hot aluminum bats also. The current generations don’t have nearly the same pop.

Last edited 2 months ago by FishSox

Utley’s power was also evident in the Cape Cod leagues and proved out in the majors. If you want to take a shot at him you’d be better to go with the fact that his dickheadedness also proved out in the majors.


Checks a lot of boxes against things the sox dont do well or dont have, he plays a premium position and if he gets knocked off ss its still a 3rd or 2nd base out come which is good, hits left handed, walks more then he k’s, puts the ball in the air….

Was cheering for a dollander or teel fall but with what was on the board I think this lines up well with what they should have targeted.

Next few rounds they can go prep and or more upside types.


They’ll probably do that after 10. I’m guessing they’ll use 3-10 to pick college seniors with no leverage.


Poor Jacob.

I’m bullish on the guy if he’s drafted by an organization like Baltimore or Arizona, but he’s been drafted by the Sox. Tough break. The cards are now stacked against him.


Jerry is bound to die sometime before his contract expires.


The prospect maven most down on Gonzalez is Eric Longenhagen, who rated him 37 in this draft class, stating “his swing has a huge hole at the top of the zone that I fear will be exploited in pro ball” and concluding

Gonzalez has some premium skills and baseball feel, and he was an exceptional college performer, but he doesn’t pass the eye test. He’s arguably young enough to improve upon his athleticism and strength as a pro, and I think he needs to do so if he’s going to be more than a utilityman.

Yolmer's gatorade

Nelson Cruz hit 400+ home runs and couldn’t really handle the top of the zone. Not saying he is Nelson Cruz, but I don’t think being weak at the top of the zone means Gonzalez won’t hit well.


And Aaron Fitt called it a “steal.” Outside the top 5, you can usually find reasons not to like a guy. But in this case Longenhagen looks like the outlier: the lowest I’ve seen him outside of Longenhagen is Law at 22, but other outlets—ESPN, BA, D1—have him as a top-10 ish guy.


He’s got a nice approach and some pop, but that swing worries me.

As Cirensica

Keith Law about J. González

…..Gonzalez projects to stay at short with great instincts and soft hands, although he’s a fringy runner and some scouts use that as a proxy for a player’s ability to handle shortstop long-term…..

Fringy runner. Fits right in.


It makes some sense, which is nice.

Last edited 2 months ago by StockroomSnail

Good choice. More shortstops means more good baseball players.


Well said. This is the way smart orgs draft. Someone complained we have Colson M. Idiotic comment. I’m fine with CWS drafting 1st round SS for 5 years in a row – if all 5 become top of the line minor league talent.




What, Cool Jazz Bangle doesn’t do it for you?

Joliet Orange Sox

Jacob Gonzalez has one L.

Cool Jazz Bangle has two L’s. Sox fans don’t need any additional L’s.


Fine, how about hipster breakfast spot Cool Jazz ‘n’ Bagel?

Greg Nix

Sounds like Gordon Beckham when he was coming out of the SEC.


I do not love this pick. The results are good on paper, but the scouting reports make it sound like he’s going to need a serious swing revamp to have real success at the higher levels of pro ball, and I just do not think the Sox are capable of that. That said, the plate discipline vs SEC pitching with a weird swing is indicative of a pretty good underlying bat to ball and plate discipline skills. This is higher up than expected; I have to think he’s getting underslot bc they have a HS kid they’re cutting a deal with in the 2nd.


Nope. 2nd round pick is a severe overdraft who is out for the year with TJS.
What are these guys doing?
“Deepest draft in decades” and they’re going for floor over ceiling and injured guy who had control issues as a reliever, with their first 2 picks.


I’m not sure. It’s def still possible they are cutting big overslot deals w HS kids, bc those can be later rounds w teams scared off by their demands.

TJS itself is not really that big a deal for long-term pitcher health, since it’s essentially ubiquitous among power pitchers by now and the recovery rates are quite high. Sox seem to, at this point, deliberately target high-ceiling dudes w injury or illness their draft year.


Not sure how he’s considered high ceiling. Not many post HS innings. Had control issues out of the pen. FB doesn’t have great shape. No feel shown for the 3rd pitch necessary to start.
Screams reliever, if healthy


What profile are you reading? I’m seeing that the last time he was seen, e.g. Cape & fall, his fastball had pretty good carry, and he showed both a slower curve and a hard, tight cutter/slider. Command was good on Cape but def a question overall.


“93-95 mph FB out of the ‘Pen…..with late hop at its best. Though it could flatten out at times.” “Threw 4 change-ups in 52 innings” “He’ll need to come up with a combo to remain a starter…”
Sox are well known to not value FB shape. Just velo.
Again, this is supposed to be a deep draft. Sox used their second pick on a 21 inning cape cod sample size. After taking a guy with swing issues, not enough pop for 3rd and not enough athleticism for SS.
You’re a fan. I’m not.


I wouldn’t exactly say I’m a fan. I was baffled when I saw the pick, but from what I’ve read he has two definitely distinct breaking balls, so I don’t think reliever-only on arsenal grounds is fair to say just yet.

Presently, I’m kinda skeptical bc there’s so little smoke on this dude, but this pick does fit Shirley’s pattern much better than Gonzalez: high-upside guys with either injury or other circumstances creating a general lack of publicly available information, thus (potentially) deflating their draft stock below talent level. I am generally a fan of gambling in the draft, though, I really loathed Hostetler’s approach.

I would qualify myself as a fan if and only if he’s signing a significantly under-slot deal, and the overall bonus wad is gonna be blown on HS kids tomorrow who are 2nd plus round talents. If Taylor is indeed a underslot signee, then I do like it; I’d much rather they snag a risky high-upside dude w that than a 4-year college guy who is a 6/7th starter or utility player at best.


Is Whitman still available? He sounds like a Sox kind of lefty


He went to SFG at #69


In the second round, the Sox took LSU pitcher Grant Taylor, who missed the season with an injured UCL. Hey, it seemed to work OK with Peyton Pallette last year.


And Schultz missed time with mono. Looking for values among guys who missed time becoming a Shirley trademark


Grant Taylor: looked great on the Cape last year. mid to upper 90s FB w rise, sharp hard cutter, downer curve. Had good command there but that’s kinda new. Blew out his UCL early this year. Seems like Shirley is quite happy to take high-upside guys with injuries or illnesses that prevented them from maybe rising higher in their draft year.

Yolmer's gatorade

He probably signs for underslot I would think too.


yeah, would think so. guess they’re saving their $$ to pop a couple of talented HS kids on day 2?


If you’re advising a prep player why would you recommend they go to the White Sox, even for over-slot bonus, when you can go to college, get NIL money, develop as a player and come back in 3 years and get drafted by a better org?


“Safe” utility player with the first pick.
“Safe” ‘Pen arm with the second.
Thought this was an historically deep draft?
Why is Hostetler making draft decisions again?


That is definitely not what Taylor is. He’s a high-upside, high-risk pick. Considerably closer to Alec Hansen than to Zack Burdi in nature.


I’m not comparing him to Burdi.
And to compare him to any former college starter, even Hansen is quite a stretch, IMO. He had a TOTAL of 6 post High School starts, before going down with TJ.


All you naysayers on Gonzalez are a bunch of Morons. You are. I am just speaking the truth; From ESPN: Outside of Skenes, what was your favorite pick of the night — and what was one that had you scratching your head?
Per ESPN baseball insidersI’ll go with two favorites — a high-floor prospect and a high-ceiling one. The former is Jacob Gonzalez, who was ranked sixth in Kiley McDaniel’s latest rankings and fell to the Chicago White Sox at 15. He’s a 6-foot-2, left-handed-hitting shortstop who will be good enough defensively to stay at the position and makes a lot of contact. The pick I’m really intrigued by, though, came right after, when the Giants took 6-foot-7 aspiring two-way player Bryce Eldridge at 16. It’s a perfect fit.


McDaniel has him 6th, but other gurus have him rather lower: Longenhagen had him 37th, KLaw had him 22nd. Which comes to an average of 21st between the three. He’s pretty divisive. The on paper performance is certainly there. The swing is pretty weird though and the guys who don’t like him think it looks exploitable by pro guys in a way most SEC arms couldn’t.

Last edited 2 months ago by a-t

If you include Baseball America (11th) and MLB.com (18th), his average gets a little better. He doesn’t sound that divisive, since Longenhagen is the only one to have him above 22nd.


How about expressing your opinion without labeling others as “morons”? You know, like an adult?

I think he’s a good pick all things considered, but seriously question the Sox ability to develop him and his strengths, however it’s not like those that don’t like the pick are without valid reasons for their opinion.


Why do fans think Gonzalez doesn’t have “upside?” Maybe Gonzalez won’t be a franchise-defining player. But any evaluations I’ve heard say the same things: fringy runner, but 55 bat/power combo who could hit 25 home runs/year and stick at SS. Isn’t the best version of that player basically Corey Seager?

*To be clear: I’m not comping him to Seager, predicting he’ll be that good, or saying his game is like Seager. I’m only questioning why a “high-floor/low-ceiling” seems to be attaching itself to him. Pretty much any description of this guy screams, “he could be a perennial all-star” and some fans are acting like they drafted another Madrigal.

Augusto Barojas

As someone else pointed out, the history for number 15 first round picks isn’t good. Jacob may be a good pick actually. But will the Sox develop him well? The odds aren’t in our favor that anything the Sox do will turn out that well while these jokers are in charge. They need more than to just trade at the deadline, but to fire Hahn, Kenny and do a complete overhaul to their player development. Probably not all that likely that they do any of that.

I agree with you it doesn’t seem like a bad or unsound pick. But had another team drafted him, his future might be better. I’m hoping the Sox get more in value for the combo of Giolito, Lynn, Graveman than a 15th slot first round pick, let’s put it that way. Can only hope that some out of Hahn, Kenny, Jerry are gone in a few years so that any prospects they get have a full chance to develop. But to your point, there’s probably no reason to think JG is another Madrigal, I agree. Nick just went on the DL again after showing a bit of life, with another hamstring injury, incredibly.

Last edited 2 months ago by Augusto Barojas

Oh, sure. I think @BillyKochFanClub has walked that line well above: we can be pessimistic about the White Sox player development and say this is a fine/good pick.

Augusto Barojas

Yeah you just hope different people are around sooner than later to develop anybody they get now via draft or trade. Whether Jacob was a good pick or not is the least of this organization’s problems!