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White Sox Go With Lights-Out Broadway

June 8, 2005
By Phil Rogers

CHICAGO--A pitcher with a name made for New York is coming to the Second City.

The White Sox selected TCU righthander Lance Broadway with the 15th pick overall in Tuesday's draft. They took him even though two top colleges pitchers with Chicagoland ties, Miami's Cesar Carrillo and Tulane's Brian Bogusevic, were available when they made the pick. Carrillo, a Mt. Carmel product out of Hammond, Ind., went to the Padres just three picks later. Bogusevic, from DeLaSalle High and Oak Lawn, Ill., went to the Astros with the 24th pick.

"I am extremely excited," Broadway said. "It has been a life-long dream to play professional baseball. Now here's my chance."

While Carrillo and Bogusevic could have developed into fan favorites, the Sox did not allow geography to influence their draft board. They may have done that in 2001, possibly overvaluing righthander Kris Honel because of his South Side roots. Problems with injuries and mechanics have caused Honel to stall in Double-A.

Broadway, who won a school record 15 games for TCU while compiling a 1.62 ERA, helped Dallas Baptist win two NCCAA national titles before transferring to the Horned Frogs. He established himself as a front-line prospect with his performance in the Northwoods League last summer and just kept improving. Farm director David Wilder was on hand last Saturday when he beat Stanford in the regionals, allowing one run in a complete-game performance.

Scouting director Duane Shaffer called that a "confirmation game. Broadway's fastball was in the low 90s but Shaffer raved about his hard curve and changeup.

"We liked his stuff, his pitchability and his success, Shaffer said. "Against some of the best competition in the country, he dominated.

While starting pitching is currently the strength of the division-leading White Sox, Broadway becomes the first college starter the White Sox have selected in the first round in seven years. The last was Baylor's Kip Wells in 1998.

It took Wells only one year to get to the big leagues, and some scouts project Broadway will also come quickly.

"It's not the reason we took him, Shaffer said. "We considered him the best guy on the board. If he's on the fast track, more power to him."

In recent drafts, the White Sox had concentrated on position players, especially stocking up on outfielders. They appear to have done well with lefthanded pitching in the 2004 draft, selecting Gio Gonzalez, Ray Liotta, Tyler Lumsden and Wes Whisler.

Broadway is represented by the firm of Reich, Katz and Landis. While the White Sox hope to sign him quickly, they will have to be careful in handling him this season. He worked 117 innings for TCU.

Before Broadway, TCU had never had a first-round pick. The highest had been infielder Fred Benavides, who went to Cincinnati in the second round of the 1987 draft.

CHI-LITES

Shaffer admitted that catching was a priority for the Sox entering the draft but they had no chance to get Southern Californias Jeff Clement, who went third overall to the Mariners, and passed on Texas' Taylor Teagarden, who is represented by agent Scott Boras. The White Sox did not take a catcher in the first day of the draft.

The White Sox added another college quarterback, picking Michigan's Clayton Richard. A backup for the Wolverines football team, he dominated as a lefthanded reliever on the baseball team. The Sox had previously selected Joe Borchard from Stanford and Josh Fields from Oklahoma State.

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