COMMENTARY | With the first two days and ten rounds completed in this season's MLB First Year Player Draft, most players of note are off the board. While there are 40 rounds and dozens of exceptions to the rule, any players that become big league contributors after round 10 are few and far between. A simple glance at the top players in the game shows that most come from the first round, with several international signings and second round picks. Beyond that, just a few come from rounds 3-10. Those that come after round 10 are rarities, of which Mark Buehrle is one; it makes sense that a soft-throwing lefty would not have caught the attention of major league general managers.
With that big disclaimer out of the way, here is a quick look at the first ten selections in the Chicago White Sox's draft. Since new draft spending rules came into place, teams have hard limits on their expenditures based on their draft position. This means that if you can get a player to sign cheaply in the beginning of the draft, you can spend more on someone later.
However, you cannot just spend as you please like teams could before the most recent collective bargaining agreement. The White Sox will likely get discounts on some of their early selections which will let them spend more on a few players they selected later in the draft. To see how that plays out, let's look at the picks.
Round 1, Pick 17 - Tim Anderson, SS, East Central CC (AZ)
Anderson is a very fast shortstop who put up very gaudy statistics at the NJCAA Division II level. A late comer to baseball, he has very high upside and shows flashes of power and good defense at a premium position. He is an elite basestealer and makes solid contact, rarely striking out. I covered him in depth previously in this article , so I will not spend too much time on him now.
Round 2, Pick 55 - Tyler Danish, RHP, Durant HS (FL)
Danish is an exciting pick that came a little earlier than some had projected. He is committed to Florida, so many thought he would be a hard sign if he went in the third or fourth round as some predicted. The White Sox should be able to lure him in with second round money and even perhaps get a discount. Danish has perhaps the funkiest delivery you'll ever see in a high draft pick, with a very quick short stride and sidearm arm action. Despite this, he has a lively fastball that runs up to 95 miles per hour and a plus slider to boot. Whether he becomes an ace in the bullpen or in the rotation will depend on the development of a third pitch and his ability to stay healthy despite such an unorthodox motion.
Round 3, Pick 91 - Jacob May, CF, Coastal Carolina (SC)
May, the son of Lee May and nephew of Carlos May, is a college junior switch hitter and is a lower upside, higher floor pick than the previous two selections. He is a polished hitter who put up solid, not gaudy numbers in his final year at Coastal Carolina and gained most of his scouting attention in the vaunted Cape Cod League. He is lauded for his defense, basestealing ability, and contact ability. May is unlikely to develop into a superstar, but has the tools to become a solid contributor and is closer to MLB than the previous two selections. Due to his relative lack of ceiling, he was projected to go a round or so later and may sign for a discount.
Round 4, Pick 123 - Andrew Mitchell, RHP, Texas Christian (TX)
Mitchell is a compelling pick as he has some serious tools. His fastball sits in the low 90s but there are reports that he has been clocked as high as 97. He is a big guy who has what Jim Callis called "the best curveball in college baseball" on the live MLB Draft broadcast. Mitchell has almost no third pitch to speak of and those who are down on him fear that he will have to become a relief pitcher due to the lack of a third offering and less than stellar control. Despite this, many expected him to go sooner in the draft due to his big talent that could make him not far from an MLB bullpen, at the worst. The White Sox will likely use some savings from their previous picks to make sure he does not return to college.
Round 5, Pick 153 - Thaddius Lowry, RHP, Spring HS (TX)
Lowry had been a catcher before scouts and coaches realized he could throw in the 90s on the hill, reaching 96. He is 6'4" and 210 pounds, which is nearly ideal for a right-handed pitcher. He is very raw, has little to speak of in terms of offspeed pitches, but has lots of room and time to develop. The sky is the limit and a complete flameout is the floor. He could choose to go to Texas Tech to build his draft resume further.
Round 6, Pick 183 - James Dykstra, RHP, Cal State-San Marcos (CA)
Dykstra is another big right-hander, but not so young. The college senior has bounced around after originally being rostered as a position player at Louisiana State. Transferring to NAIA Cal State-San Marcos, he began to focus on pitching. Here he honed his sinking fastball that sits in the low 90s and hits 95 along with serviceable secondary pitches into a dominant run. The main concern with Dykstra is his competition and polish; he hasn't seen the best hitters in the NAIA and he still needs work on his offspeed pitches.
Round 7, Pick 213 - Trey Michalczewski, 3B, Jenks HS (OK)
Michalczewski is a player that many had projected to be a late first round or second round selection, but reasons likely relating to his signability caused him to drop. The White Sox will likely try to use money saved on their early picks to bring this young position prospect into the fold. He is big, plays good infield defense, and rates well in both contact and power. As a high schooler, he will need lots of seasoning and has significant risk but would be a huge get for the White Sox nonetheless. There is some chance that he plays shortstop early in his pro career, but most believe he will be a third baseman in the long term.
Round 8, Pick 243 - Chris Freudenberg, LHP, South Mountain CC (AZ)
Freudenberg did some bouncing around the Arizona junior college circuit, but settled in at South Mountain. He has an easy high-80s to low-90s fastball with solid offspeed offerings, but no changeup. His velocity will need to get more consistent and his changeup will need development if he wishes to become a starter in pro ball.
Round 9, Pick 273 - Nick Blount, RHP, Southern Polytechnic State (GA)
Blount is a 6'6" 220 pound college senior who transferred to Southern Polytechnic after three seasons at Tennessee. He is a projectable righty that has swung between the bullpen and rotation. My guess is that he does not get much of a chance, if any, to start as a professional.
Round 10, Pick 303 - Brad Goldberg, RHP, Ohio State University (OH)
Another college senior and another big righty, the White Sox began stocking up on experienced college pitchers in the latter half of the day. He is a hard thrower with inconsistent offspeed stuff and is likely destined to be a bullpen arm.
Jacob Long, a native to the Chicago area, is a writer for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. He has experience covering sports and news for WMC-TV in Memphis, TN and has contributed to sports blogs such as The Flapship . Follow him on Twitter @jlongrc .
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