2012 Draft Report Cards: Chicago White Sox

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See also: Draft Report Card Index

The White Sox spent less money than any team under the previous labor agreement but opened things up with the new draft rules. Hawkins is a high-ceiling athlete, and there's the usual array of strong arms.
Bonus Spending: $6.5 million
Best Pure Hitter: 2B Joey DeMichele (3) was Arizona State's top hitter the last two seasons, and he avoids slumps because of his knack for finding the barrel. He earns Adam Kennedy comparisons for his swing and overall profile. Best Power Hitter: 1B Keon Barnum (1s) missed time after signing with a shoulder injury, and he's raw. But he blistered the ball in a personal workout with White Sox GM Kenny Williams and has at least plus-plus raw power, drawing comparisons to Ryan Howard. OF Courtney Hawkins (1) doesn't quite have Barnum's light-tower power but may have more usable pop and hit a pair of homers in the high Class A Carolina League playoffs. Fastest Runner: 2B Micah Johnson (9) has plus speed, though he needs to polish his baserunning skills. His quickness could lead him to move to center field down the line. Best Defensive Player: 3B/2B Eric Grabe (24) showed reliable hands and arm strength at both second base and third, and he also can fill in at shortstop, giving him a utility profile.


Best Fastball: RHP Kyle Hansen (6) reaches 96-97 mph in shorter stints. RHP Chris Beck (2) hit 95-96 mph in the summer and fall of 2011 but topped out at 93 in 2012. Best Secondary Pitch: Beck still flashes a hard slider/cutter that touches 86-87 mph. He has battled conditioning issues and lowered his release point since peaking in the summer and fall of 2011, but the White Sox believe they can address his issues. LHP Jordan Guerrero (15) has a solid curveball that flashes plus.


Best Pro Debut: Hawkins hit .284/.317/.480 with eight homers and 11 steals while finishing the summer in high Class A. Grabe was old for Rookie ball at 22 but batted .357/.434/.521 at Bristol. DeMichele reached low Class A while hitting .275/.328/.479 with seven homers. Best Athlete: Hawkins has good strength and speed and has retained some of his cheerleading skills, as evidenced by the backflip he performed during the draft broadcast on MLB Network. Most Intriguing Background: Hansen's brother Craig had a similar big fastball before injuries struck. He's still attempting a comeback in the Mets system but hasn't pitched in the majors since 2009. Unsigned RHP Ryan Castellanos' (34) brother Nick is the Tigers' top prospect. Closest To The Majors: DiMichele may start 2013 at Double-A Birmingham. Best Late-Round Pick: The White Sox are high on the physicality of C Sammy Ayala (17), a three-sport prep athlete who's raw but has power potential and plus arm strength. Signed for $258,800, he's a beast at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds. The One Who Got Away: Chicago expects to sign OF Jason Coats (29), a college senior rehabbing a knee injury, once he passes a physical prior to spring training. That would leave Logan (Ill.) CC LHP Derek Thompson (13) as its only unsigned pick in the top 32 rounds.