The Chicago White Sox didn’t have a second or third round selection due to some of their offseason signings, so they continued their 2015 MLB First-Year Player Draft in the fourth round where they selected Clemson left-handed pitcher Zack Erwin with the 112th overall selection.
Erwin continued the trend of the White Sox drafting collegiate pitchers, and Erwin follows the White Sox first round selection of Carson Fulmer from Vanderbilt, who they took with the eighth overall selection Monday.
With Erwin the White Sox get a left-handed pitcher who Baseball America ranked as the 117th prospect in this draft, and according to mlbdraftcountdown.com Erwin went undrafted out of high school.
MLB Draft Countdown also had the following grades on Erwin:
• Fastball: 55/60 (88-92 mph)
• Slider: 45/55
• Curveball: 40/50
• Changeup: 50/60
• Mechanics: 60/65
• Command: 50/60
• Control: 55/65
This past season with the Tigers of Clemson, Erwin went 7-4 with a 3.04 ERA in 17 games (16 starts). In that time frame he struck out 92 batters (an improvement of 62 the previous season).
His collegiate ERA isn’t that bad, and for a fourth round selection, the Clemson hurler does have some nice control with just 16 walks in 17 appearances, less than a walk per game.
Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote this about the lefty:
"“Erwin, a ground ball pitcher, throws a fastball in the 87-91 mph range and relies on changing speeds.”"
It will be interesting to see what the White Sox do with Erwin. It seems he still needs some work, but does have the potential the White Sox can work with in their farm system, as his slider and mechanics seem to grade well.
This selection could have a nice future for the White Sox, and from what I’ve read about Erwin he seems to be a solid pitcher, as stated in this late May article by the Associated Press when Clemson defeated Louisville:
"“Erwin (7-4) allowed six hits and one earned run (also 11 strikeouts) in eight innings while helping the fifth-seeded Tigers (32-26) improve to 1-1 in pool play.”"
Erwin also has some good control, but the question is will they keep him a starter like he was this past season with Clemson, or if they feel he will help the organization as a relief pitcher like he was in 2014 and 2013 at the collegiate level.