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White Sox Draft Report Card

By Jim Callis

Best Pro Debut: SS Tim Hummel (2) batted .326-2-30 with 16 doubles while playing for two Class A teams.

Best Athlete: OF Joe Borchard (1) would have started at quarterback for Stanford this fall had he not turned pro for $5.3 million, a record bonus for a draftee signing with the team that selected him. Power and arm strength are his two most exciting tools.

Best Hitter: Hummel, who had more walks than strikeouts. He had a six-hit game at Class A Frederick and finished his first pro summer with a 19-for-39 (.487) streak.

Best Raw Power: Duane Shaffer, the dean of current scouting directors, says Borchard has as much power as anyone he ever has scouted, including Mark McGwire at the same stage. Shaffer isn’t predicting any 70-homer seasons in Borchard’s future, but suffice it to say he’s elated.

Fastest Runner: The White Sox may have signed more quality speed than anyone. 2B Chris Amador (8) and OF Bo Ivy (6) finished 1-2 in the Rookie-level Arizona League in stolen bases, and OF Eddie Young (7) would have run wild if he hadn’t missed his first pro summer with a broken wrist. All three are plus-plus runners, with Ivy the quickest.

Best Defensive Player: Amador has taken to second base after moving from shortstop. His speed gives him plenty of range, and his arm is better suited for second.

Best Fastball: RHP Rylan Reed (23) reaches 96 mph and could add velocity as his body loosens up after he’s stopped weight training for football. Shaffer says Reed, at 6-foot-7 and 260 pounds, is the biggest 18-year-old he has ever seen. Arkansas recruited Reed to play tight end.

Most Intriguing Background: Borchard and Reed aren’t the only picks with football connections. OF Freddie Mitchell (50), a backup center fielder at UCLA, is better known as a wide receiver with NFL potential. He didn’t sign.

Closest To The Majors: Borchard reached Double-A then headed to the Arizona Fall League. Chicago has a nice pair of corner outfielders in Carlos Lee and Magglio Ordonez, so Borchard will speed his rise if he can stay in center.

Best Late-Round Pick: Reed, who interestingly didn’t get any baseball scholarship offers. He would have gone about 20 rounds earlier had teams been more certain he would give up football.

The One Who Got Away: One of the best high school catching prospects, Tony Richie (5) was disappointed he didn’t go in the first round as projected. He’s at Florida State.

Assessment: The White Sox took heat for Borchard’s bonus, but he was the No. 1 player on their board and they say his deal makes more sense than the major league contracts draftees have gotten in recent years. After loading up on pitching in the last two drafts, Chicago filled the organization with intriguing position players.

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