Today we begin the American League Central draft reviews with the Chicago White Sox.
Chicago White Sox Draft Review
1) Chris Sale, LHP, Florida Gulf Coast University: No one expected Sale to fall this far, 13th overall. He's a steal in this slot. Although his delivery is unconventional, he repeats it well and I'm not convinced that his injury risk is any higher than any other pitcher.
2) Jacob Petricka, RHP, Indiana State University: Raw before this year, Petricka improved his mechanics this year and got his fastball up to 98 MPH at times. He still needs refinement, but has a lot of potential as a relief arm.
3) Addison Reed, RHP,San Diego State: Very polished, Reed throws 89-92 as a starter but hit the mid-90s when used as a closer in '09. He has a good slider and changeup. If used in rotation, he looks like a number three or four starter, but if he moves to the pen he could move very fast as a closer through the system.
3S) Thomas Royse, RHP, University of Louisville: Another polished arm, with a 90 MPH fastball and a workable slider and changeup.
4) Matthew Grimes, RHP, Georgia HS: Projectable and young, Grimes can hit 93 MPH and has a slider that should improve. He also has a Georgia Tech commitment, and may need an above-slot bonus.
5) Andy Wilkins, 1B, University of Arkansas: Big-time power slugger in college, but his track record with wooden bats is spotty and this hurt his draft status.
6) Rangel Ravelo, 3B, Florida HS: Cuban immigrant, has the power and athleticism for third base but needs more experience in general. Has good potential for the sixth round.
7) Tyler Saladino, SS, Oral Roberts: Good athlete, should stick at shortstop, hit well in college although not everyone believes this will carry forward to wood.
8) Josef Terry, 2B, Cerritos Junior College: A sleeper pick, Terry's draft status was hurt a bit by a shoulder injury but he should be fine in the long run. His defense needs work, but his bat is highly-regarded.
9) Kevin Moran, RHP, Boston College: Can hit 93-95 MPH with a good slider, but severe control problems resulted in an ERA higher than 8.00 this year. Very raw, but has potential.
10) Ross Wilson, 2B, University of Alabama: He's been injury-plagued for a year now, but before getting hurt he was regarded as a solid prospect who could slot as high as the third round.
FOUR OTHERS OF NOTE: 19-Doug Murray, RHP, University of San Francisco; 21-Tyler Jones, RHP, Madison Tech JC; 22-Ozney Guillen, OF, Florida HS; 33-Jamaal Hollis, RHP, University of Miami-Ohio.
COMMENT: College pitching was the theme in the early rounds. Sale could be a steal, Petricka has a good arm but is a bit raw, and Reed could be one of the first '10 draftees to reach the majors. Grimes and Ravelo provides some high school upside projection but are raw. The later rounds are undistinguished, though one of the middle infielders should pan out as useful. Overall, Sale is the big name and there are some solid guys after him. It isn't a bad draft, though it isn't a spectacular one either.