White Sox Planning Ahead For Draft
CHICAGO—Losing their first-round pick in the 2011 draft as compensation for signing free agent slugger Adam Dunn actually trims some of the preparation by White Sox scouting director Doug Laumann and his top evaluators this spring.
"We're trying to eliminate maybe 20 guys," Laumann said, referring to the top 20 draft-eligible players. "Our first pick will be in the high-40 range (47). When I say eliminate them, I don't mean totally eliminate them. I just mean maybe setting one set of eyes on them instead of having a bunch of eyes on them.
"From that point, we'll move forward with the next group of about 20. And those will be the guys we key in on. We'll get our one guy out of that group."
In recent years, the Sox have paid extra for 2007 seventh-round pick Jordan Danks ($525,000) and 2008 second-round pick Trayce Thompson ($625,000). The Sox are aware that there might be a player available who falls due to perceived bonus demands.
"We've always gone by what our budgetary restraints are," Laumann said. "But by virtue of not having that first-round pick, the guy who falls out of the first round because he expected first round money gets to us, we might have that flexibility to give that guy the type of money he is looking for as long as he fits within our framework."
Not possessing a first-round pick could entice the Sox to use their top pick on a player who might lack polish but has a large upside.
"We'll miss at some guys at the top because of that, but at the same time, (if) a guy like Jacob Petricka (second-round pick in 2010) or Trayce Thompson turn out to be the way we think they're going to be, they're going to be top-of-the-order, top-of-the-rotation-type guys. I think our minor league system is in a little bit better position than what some may see."
• Outfielder Jared Mitchell, a 2009 first-round pick who missed the entire 2010 season because of ankle surgery, will report to minor league spring training to "ease him in," farm director Buddy Bell said.
• Righthander Thomas Royse, a third-round supplemental pick in 2010, is expected to miss the entire 2011 season because of Tommy John surgery. He won't report to Glendale, Ariz., until April 1 for extended spring training.