The Chicago White Sox should follow the Baltimore Orioles' plan toward building a winning team

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
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Hitting in the draft is the way the Orioles have turned things around.

Take a look at the Orioles' first-round picks going back to 2017...

  • Pitcher DL Hall was taken with the 21st overall pick in 2017. He was used in getting Corbin Burnes in an offseason trade.
  • Pitcher Grayson Rodriguez was taken with the 11th overall pick in 2018. He pitched last night and allowed just two runs. He has a 3.20 ERA.
  • Catcher Adley Rutschman was the No. 1 overall pick in 2019 and currently has a .299/.335/.474 slash line. He went 2-for-5 last night with three RBI
  • Outfielder Heston Kjerstad was taken No. 2 in 2020. He is currently the No. 22 overall prospect according to MLB The Orioles have so much talent that they do not have a spot for him in the big leagues.
  • Outfielder Colton Cowser was drafted at No. 5 in 2021. He has a .822 OPS this season.
  • Shortstop Jackson Holliday was taken No. 1 overall and is currently the top prospect in baseball.
  • Outfield Enrique Bradfield Jr. was selected at No. 17 and is already the fifth-best prospect in Baltimore's system.

Baltimore's previous administration found a pitcher they could use to land an ace they desperately needed and another pitcher to help them win now. Elias and his staff took it to the next level as they already found two starters and another future one along with a prospect in Kjerstad that can replace Anthony Santander once he departs in free agency.

It is not just hitting on their first-round picks that has made the Orioles a winning organization. It is getting good players on their additional first-round selections and in other rounds.

Gunnar Henderson is one of the best players in baseball and Baltimore found him in the second round. Think about it, the Orioles and 29 other teams passed on Henderson. Then some more teams passed on him again.

Third baseman Jordan Westberg was chosen at No. 30 in 2020. Ryan Mountcastle was one of the few draft picks the administration before Elias hit on as he was an additional first-round in 2015 at No. 36. Cedric Mullens was taken in the 13th round in 2015. Santander was a Rule-5 pick-up.

The rotation was built through trades during their rebuild when they picked up Dean Kramer and Kyle Bradish. The bullpen is a mix of waiver claims, minor trades, and signings. The only major signing the Orioles made was bringing in closer Craig Kimbrel. Kimbrel is an old friend of the organization, but with a terrible history after that brief failed tenure in 2021.

That is roster building at its finest and not breaking the bank to do it.