Sale Fits The Mold For White Sox
Chicago 'Real Happy' Lefthander Slips To No. 13
Given a long-time leaning toward college pitchers, the White Sox were delighted when lefthander Chris Sale
stayed on the board long enough for them to select him with the 13th overall pick.
"We had him targeted to a certain degree,'' Sox scouting director Doug Laumann
said. "We were real happy to get him . . . I think we get a little bit of everything with this guy.''
Sale is a live-arm lefty with a lanky frame and an unorthodox delivery. He was drafted by the Rockies out of high school but wound up helping start the baseball program at Florida Gulf Coast, a low-level Division I program where he was 11-0, 2.01 this season, striking out 146 while walking only 14 in 103 innings.
Sale throws a mid-90s fastball, a swing-and-miss changeup and a slider from a three-quarters arm slot. He looks somewhat frail on the mound, which probably had a lot to do with 12 teams passing on him, but Laumann says he saw him throw a complete game in which his fastball was 88-92 mph in the early innings and 92-96 in the end.
Sale told the MLB Network that he was surprised by the quirks in his delivery when he saw them on video. But he seems to have done all right by allowing himself to develop his own style rather than emulating someone else.
"You can't really pitch like anyone (else),'' said Sale, who is listed as 6-foot-6, 183 pounds. "Everyone has their own style of pitching, just like hitters do. I go out there and pitch my game. I don't try to pitch like Cole Hamels
or Randy Johnson
—throw 100 miles per hour or have a (monster) breaking ball. I just try to pitch my game.''
Sale made the most of a chance to pitch in the Cape Cod League last summer, leading the league in innings pitched and strikeouts to be named its outstanding pitcher. He was considered a candidate to be selected as high as fourth overall by the Royals, but slid out of the top 10, as Mississippi's Drew Pomeranz
, Texas A&M's Barrett Loux
, North Carloina's Matt Harvey
and Georgia Tech's Deck McGuire
were selected ahead of him.
Laumann isn't sure why Sale was still available. He does not rule out a quick ascent to Chicago.
"He's got pitchability, he's got stuff,'' he said. "To come from a small program and get to the big leagues real quickly might not be realistic. But at the same time, he doesn't have a lot of things he would need to do (to get there).''
Sale is the fifth college pitcher the White Sox have selected as a first-rounder in the last nine drafts. None of the other four (Royce Ring
, Lance Broadway
, Kyle McCulloch
and Aaron Poreda
) have had an impact, and only McCulloch is still in the system.
• Center fielder Jared Mitchell
, the White Sox's first-rounder in 2009 from LSU, is recovering on schedule after having a torn tendon on the inside of his left ankle repaired following a spring-training injury. He's expected to return for the instructional league and hopes to be healthy enough to get some time in the Arizona Fall League.
• Third baseman Brent Morel
has been promoted from Double-A Birmingham to Triple-
A Charlotte, continuing his quick climb through the minors. The other side of that move was second baseman C.J. Retherford
was dropped to Birmingham, where he played last season.