With the 142nd pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, the Chicago White Sox selected Bailey Horn and he was really good for the Auburn Tigers.
The Chicago White Sox selected five arms to add to their minor league system last week in the 2020 MLB draft. There has been much excitement over first-round pick Garrett Crochet, Tennessee senior whose fastball has touched 100mph as well as Jared Kelly, a hard-throwing high school phenom who has also made headlines with his heater.
In addition to these two promising young arms, the White Sox also drafted Bailey Horn, a left-handed pitcher out of Auburn with pick number 142 in round 5. While he was the last of the five pitchers selected, Horn has been a big part of the Auburn pitching staff and has a chance to prove himself valuable to the White Sox staff.
Horn began his collegiate baseball career at McLennan Community College in Texas, wherein his freshman year he pitched a total of 77 innings while posting a 3.86 ERA and striking out 77. In 2018, he had already been in talks with the program at Auburn, but injured his arm early in the season and had to undergo Tommy John surgery.
Despite the injury, Horn was still able to go to Auburn and was able to pitch for the 2019 season. This season did not go as the Tigers hoped, as he finished the year with a 5.97 ERA with 20 walks and 31 strikeouts. While he had a year to recover from a significant surgery, it is likely that this injury did play a part in inflating his ERA and prevented him from pitching to his full potential.
The cancellation of the remainder of the 2020 season was disappointing for many, especially Horn who was off to a tremendous start. He pitched in just three games, but in 17.1 innings he allowed only 4 earned runs and 1 home run. He walked only 5 and struck out 27 and went on to post a stellar 2.08 ERA. While it is difficult to know what Horn would have produced if the rest of the season took place, it appeared he was starting what would have been a stellar year and a huge rebound from his 2019 campaign.
Due to his injury back in 2018, Horn does have another season of eligibility if he wanted to pitch for the Tigers, although it seems likely he will sign with the Sox. While he has shown he can perform both as a starter and out of the bullpen, some think that Horn may be a future addition to the bullpen as the combination of his fastball and slider have the potential to be effective in the later innings.
The decision by the White Sox to take five pitchers with their five picks appears to have been a smart move as the organization is in need of a few more effective arms if they want to make a playoff run within the next few seasons. Horn may be a bit overshadowed by other top arms in the organization but for the Sox, every arm is an important arm as they look to make their presence felt in the A.L. Central.