Chicago White Sox

Analysis: White Sox can draft from premium talent with 4th pick

Florida pitcher Jackson Kowar throws against Mississippi State during the 2017 Southeastern Conference tournament May 26 in Hoover, Ala. Kowar could be available to the Sox when they use the No. 4 overall pick in the draft, which begins June 4.
Florida pitcher Jackson Kowar throws against Mississippi State during the 2017 Southeastern Conference tournament May 26 in Hoover, Ala. Kowar could be available to the Sox when they use the No. 4 overall pick in the draft, which begins June 4.

We interrupt NFL mock draft versions 57.0, or wherever they’re at now, for some baseball projections. Specifically, White Sox first-round draft pick projections.

Based on their 67-95 record last season, the Sox hold the No. 4 overall pick in this year’s draft, which begins June 4.

The Detroit Tigers have the No. 1 pick, followed by the San Francisco Giants and Philadelphia Phillies.

This year’s draft pool has been described as very deep, with few or no can’t-miss prospects at the top.

That’s good and bad for the White Sox.

Good because a solid player should be on the board in the second round, where the Sox get the No. 46 overall pick.

It could be bad at No. 4 overall, but the White Sox should be able to get a premium college pitcher or promising high school position player.

Let’s take a look at potential Sox picks at No. 4:

Jackson Kowar: A collegiate starting pitcher at Florida, Kowar is moving out of the shadow of heralded rotation mate Brady Singer this season.

Kowar, a 6-foot-6, 185-pound righty, was 12-1 for the Gators as a sophomore last season, but he gave up 115 hits in 1061/3 innings and had a 4.15 ERA and .270 batting average against.

This year, Kowar is off to a 5-1 start with a 2.72 ERA and .220 average against.

Nander De Sedas: He attends the same Florida high school (Montverde Academy) as Francisco Lindor, and De Sedas is frequently compared to the Cleveland Indians’ star shortstop.

De Sedas has shown he can hit for power from both sides of the plate, and he’s a good enough athlete to play third and second base in addition to shortstop.

Brice Turang: Another high school shortstop, Turang is a four-year starter at Santiago in California and he’s been closely followed by major-league scouts for most of the prep run.

The son of Brian Turang, who played parts of two seasons (1993 to 1994) with the Seattle Mariners, Brice comes from an athletic family and he’s also made a big impression playing for USA Baseball’s U18 team.

A solid hitter and defender, Turang’s one question mark is hitting for power with a 6-foot, 165-pound frame.

Brady Singer: The White Sox have kept close tabs on the Florida starter, but the biggest issue is Singer likely going to the Tigers, Giants or Phillies with one of the first three draft picks.

If he’s still on the board at No. 4, the Sox are likely to pounce.

Singer broke out in 2016, when he dominated the competitive Cape Cod summer league.

The 6-foot-5 righty is 7-1 with a
2.79 ERA in nine starts with the Gators this season, and he has 63 strikeouts in 58 innings.

Nick Madrigal: He’s been out since late February with a fractured hand, but Madrigal’s draft stock remains incredibly high.

In six games with Oregon State before the injury, Madrigal batted .560 with two home runs and eight RBIs. As a sophomore last year, the infielder hit .380 with 20 doubles, four homers and 40 RBIs in 60 games with the Beavers.

A natural second baseman, the 5-foot-8, 160-pounder has been compared to a pair of pretty good players – Jose Altuve and Dustin Pedroia.

Five more to watch: Casey Mize, starting pitcher, Auburn; Travis Swaggerty, outfielder, South Alabama; Shane McClanahan, starting pitcher, South Florida; Matthew Liberatore, starting pitcher, Mountain Ridge (Arizona) High School; Jarred Kelenic, outfielder, Waukesha West (Wisconsin) High School.

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