The White Sox need to build around a new core of players moving forward. With three of its four most recent first round draft picks on the team, the White Sox have some players they can build around for the future.
With the Sox dropping three consecutive games after a loss against the Twins in extra innings on Friday, it seems all but certain that key players will not be around for the next home stand at U.S. Cellular Field. If the White Sox do indeed some of their veteran players, whom should the White Sox build around for the future? Here is a look of players that definitely should not go, barring a steal of a trade.
Rodon was the teams’ first round pick (3rd overall) in 2014, and has all the ability to be a front-line starter in the major leagues. With a plus plus slider, he needs to work on getting ahead of hitters more consistently. His main issue right now is fastball command, and if he can ever learn how to locate his fastball he could become an ace. If he doesn’t improve that area of his game, it is unlikely that he will ever be any more than a number three starter. However, it is very likely that he does improve as he is still very young.
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In 2015, the White Sox took Fulmer with their first overall pick (8th overall). One question about Fulmer is whether he will be a starter or a reliever, as his size has been questioned (6’0, 195 lbs). With that said, it has yet to be seen if his frame could tolerate 200+ innings of work on an annual basis. He has good stuff, and the question now is would it be better suited in a late-inning relief or starters role. My guess is the White Sox will try him as a starter in the future, but not at his current age.
Staying in the theme of first round draft picks, Anderson was selected by the White Sox in 2013 (13th overall) out of East Central Community College in Mississippi. Anderson was raw coming out of college, however has developed into a top 50 prospect in three years in the White Sox minor league system. With great tools, the only question is will he put it all together. Anderson is the future for the White Sox at shortstop, and what he has shown so far at the MLB level should make the White Sox resist trading him unless the perfect package came along.
Collins is the 4th and final first round pick on this list (10th overall in 2016), as he was selected out of the University of Miami-FL. Collins has a big time bat, and might be among the best position player prospects in the White Sox system already. However there are questions about his position. Since his catching skills are an issue, he may end up moving elsewhere in the field. Another option is DH, which would be an option just to get his bat into the lineup.
All in all, none of these players would be going anywhere if I were Rick Hahn. Chris Sale is another name that comes to mind, however he is in a completely different class than these four (and trade value). If the White Sox can hit on two or three of these players, and I am talking star level production, the team would have a massive amount of salary flexibility. Now a lot needs to happen between now and stardom for this group, but the last several draft picks are starting to make the White Sox system respectable again. Something it hasn’t been in years.