In 1989, the Sox drafted Frank Thomas with the seventh overall pick in that year’s MLB draft out of Auburn University. Thomas would make his major league debut in 1990 and transformed the Sox franchise.
After being a part of the Sox team that closed the old Comiskey Park in 1990, Thomas would quickly become a legend on the Southside as he became a household name in the ’90s. With a new Comiskey Park opening in 1991, Thomas wasted little time making that ballpark into a hitters paradise for himself.
Thomas not only made the Sox more relevant during his playing time with the team, but he would also become one of the better hitters in major league history. ‘The Big Hurt’ as he was dubbed by famous Sox broadcaster Ken ‘Hawk’ Harrelson, would win back-to-back AL MVP awards in 1993 and 1994 and hit a team record 448 home runs during his 16 seasons with the Sox.
The Sox have had some good first-round draft picks as listed in this article, but none were better than Thomas. Thomas brought many fans to Sox home games to see him blast home runs and he would leave a lasting impact on the franchise.
There hasn’t been another player that has come close to matching Thomas’ dominance with the Sox. It’s surprising that Thomas wasn’t drafted first overall in 1989 as he went on to become a Hall of Famer. Much like Baines, Thomas not only has a statue at Guaranteed Rate Field but his no. 35 has also been retired. The best draft pick in Sox history is Thomas and it might remain that way for a long time.