Jun 8, 2013; Raleigh, NC, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack pitcher Carlos Rodon delivers a pitch against the Rice Owls during the Raleigh super regional of the 2013 NCAA baseball tournament at Doak Field. North Carolina State defeated Rice 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago White Sox completed the first two rounds of the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft by selecting left-handed pitcher Carlos Rodon with the third overall selection, and Spencer Adams, a left-handed pitcher in Round 2, at pick No. 44.
The White Sox’s first two picks are excellent, with one who should be on the fast track to the majors and a high schooler with a high ceiling.
This is what the organization needs, more frontline starting pitching. The more frontline starters they have, the better they can potentially be.
Even better, when an organization can develop frontline starters, it keeps the payroll down that much more. Pitching is the key to winning … the more of it you have, the more you will win.
Let’s take a closer look at the first two selections by the White Sox.
No. 3 overall
Carlos Rodon, LHP (North Carolina State University)
Rodon, a junior at N.C. State, has potential as a left-handed ace.
Many scouts projected him to go No. 1 overall going into 2014; however, some velocity issues caused him to drop to the third overall selection.
The MLB comparison that Rodon has been getting is former Cy Young award winner David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays, which is why the Houston Astros and Miami Marlins passing on him is a steal for the White Sox.
Though his velocity has been inconsistent this year, his slider at times has been un-hittable.
According to some pundits and scouts, Rodon could have gone No. 1 overall after his freshman year at North Carolina State. The velocity concerns were one of the reasons he slipped to the three spot.
A lot of his sub .500 record (6-7 overall) is due in part to his team not scoring runs for him, as his ERA dropped from 2.99 in 2013 to 2.01 in 2014.
Rodon should have a plus-fastball (90-96 MPH), a plus-plus slider (86-89 MPH) and an average changeup (low 80s), but the changeup could improve with work in the minors.
(No. 44 overall)
Spencer Adams, RHP (White County High School, Ga.)
Adams is a raw, but projectable pitcher. Adams will be a starter, and some mock drafts had him going in the first round.
Adams was a three-sport star in high school; however, many have said focusing fully on baseball may help refine his potential as a pitcher.
The RHP has been compared to a poor man’s Jeff Samardzija and could be a top of the rotation starter.
Right now Adams’ fastball sits in the low 90s, but it can reach the mid-90s. His slider projects as plus or potentially better.
His slider sits in the mid-80s and has a sharp break. The changeup that Adams throws is his worst pitch, although it may end up being an average pitch.
Adams is committed to the University of Georgia, but seven figures may change his mind.