It is a safe bet to say the Chicago White Sox will draft one of the three top-rated pitchers with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft.
The White Sox are selecting No. 3 overall because of their horrific 2013 season where they lost 99 games, being the third worst team in all of baseball, with the Houston Astros having the No. 1 pick and he Miami Marlins selecting at No. 2.
So who are the Top 3 pitchers in this draft?
The White Sox have been projected to select Tyler Kolek, a right-hander, with the No. 3 selection by ESPN Insider Keith Law.
“The White Sox have been locked in on Kolek for more than a month, and the industry is betting he’s their guy even if Carlos Rodon or Brady Aiken drop to this pick. They apparently prefer Kolek to Aiken and would rather not grapple with Rodon’s perceived high price tag.”
Law projected Aiken to go No. 1 overall to the Astros and Rodon to be selected by the Marlins.
In his ESPN Insider profile, Kolek is listed as 6-5 and 250 pounds as he pitches at Shepherd High School in Texas.
His profile says:
“Simply put, Kolek has the arm strength to throw harder than any pitcher in the class, sitting more in the 93-95 mph range, occasionally reaching triple digits with some late movement as well.”
I really can’t say I know a lot on Kolek, except for what I’ve read, and if that is the case the White Sox could possibly be interested in a very good power pitcher (which would be nice to have), but on the down side (sort of) he’s just 17 years old and is described as “maxed out physically.”
Even if he is “maxed out,” he’s already a big man for his age, so that could be a plus in his progression in the minors by whomever drafts the right-hander, as he’ll be used to his size and strength as a pitcher.
It is no secret the White Sox need to work on their pitching in the farm system, and Kolek could be a nice piece to add to the farm, as the White Sox need to revamp their 21st ranked minor league system (as per baseball prospectus).
Thoughts on the MLB Draft or drafting a high school player?