Chicago White Sox

Players signed indicated in Bold

Round Overall Player Position School State Bonus
1 8 Gordon Beckham SS Georgia Ga. $2,600,000
After he went undrafted out of high school, Beckham has improved as much as any player during his three years in college. He started from his freshman season at Georgia, and hit 12 home runs his first season to help the Bulldogs in the College World Series and land on BA's Freshman All-American team. His batting average and power numbers have increased each year since. He won the Cape Cod League home run title last summer, and has shown it was no fluke by hitting 22 homes so far this spring. He has been among the Division I leaders in batting, home runs and slugging percentage all season. At the plate, Beckham is a home run threat to all fields. He has powerful forearms and snap in his wrists that lead to his above-average bat speed. After being known as a hacker early in his college career he is now regarded as a professional hitter. He makes good contact and consistently squares up balls and uses the whole field. While no one questions his ability to hit, scouts are split on whether Beckham has the hands to stay at shortstop. He has the instincts and is athletic with enough range and arm strength to stick at the premium position.
3 86 Brent Morel 3B Cal Poly Calif. $440,000
Scouts liken Morel to former Poly third baseman Josh Lansford offensively, with some home run power but a more effective approach when he tries to go gap-to-gap, and consider him a better defender. Both could squeeze into the first six rounds if they find the right fit.
4 120 Drew O'Neil RHP Penn State Pa. $260,000
Penn State closer Drew O'Neil was one of the most dominating pitchers in the Big 10 Conference this spring, going 0-2, 1.88 with 11 saves in 26 appearances. O'Neil threw from an over-the-top arm slot when he arrived at Penn State, but he messed around with a sidearm delivery in a bullpen session early last spring, and the Nittany Lions decided to keep him there. O'Neil's fastball velocity is unusual for a sidearmer: he sits at 89-92 with boring, sinking action and touches 93-94. His slider can be effective against righthanded hitters when he stays behind it, which he has done more consistently as a junior. Sometimes he gets underneath it, causing it to flatten out and spin harmlessly across the zone. He has a changeup that he seldom throws, but he figures to rely on his fastball and slider in pro ball. O'Neil draws comparisons to Mets reliever Joe Smith, who was drafted in the third round out of Wright State in 2006, and O'Neil could be drafted as high as the third himself, but his upside is limited. He could move quickly in pro ball and reach the majors as a reliever.
5 150 Dan Hudson RHP Old Dominion Va. $180,000
Old Dominion also had a disappointing year, finishing 25-27 after being ranked No. 25 by BA in the preseason, due in part to the three quality pitching prospects on its staff. Lefthander Dan Hudson was coming off an impressive sophomore year and summer in the Cape Cod League but went 5-6, 4.70 in 13 starts this spring as the Monarchs' Friday starter. His stuff remains attractive, however. Hudson is 6-foot-4, 215 pounds and throws his fastball in the low 90s. He has long been a strikeout pitcher and that didn't change this season, as he struck out 107 batters in 92 innings against 33 walks. He has a long arm stroke in the back and a whipping sidearm motion through his release point, which makes for natural life on his fastball, fading away from lefthanders and in on righthanders--though it can also make his command inconsistent. Hudson also throws a slider, curveball and changeup, with the curve being his best secondary pitch.
6 180 Kenny Williams Jr. OF Wichita State Kan. $150,000
Outfielder Kenny Williams Jr., the son of the former big leaguer and current White Sox general manager, has barely played since being diagnosed with mononucleosis in early May. He also didn't see much action in his first three seasons in college, sitting on the bench for two years at Arizona and redshirting in 2007 after being academically ineligible following his transfer to Wichita State. An athletic 6-foot-2, 198-pounder who has been drafted twice--including by the Rockies in the 32nd round last year--Williams did shake off the rust in 2008. He's a switch-hitter with a quick bat, though he has yet to develop much power or plate discipline. His best tool is his speed, which he uses well on the bases and in the outfield.
7 210 Jordan Danks OF Texas Texas $525,000
Jordan Danks might have been a first-round pick coming out of high school had he not told teams he was set on attending Texas. He was one of the best prep power hitters in the 2005 draft, having beaten Cameron Maybin in the home run derby at the 2004 AFLCA All-America Game, where Danks hit several balls completely out of the park. Three years later, his power potential remains largely unfulfilled. The Longhorns' Disch-Falk Field doesn't favor hitters, but it's not the sole culprit for Danks' meager total of 12 homers in three college seasons. His bat speed and feel for hitting are just fair, though he has improved at driving balls to the opposite field this spring. If Danks was delivering the power scouts expected, he'd be an easy first-round pick because he's both big (6-foot-5, 205 pounds) and the best college athlete in this draft class. He runs well and shows better instincts on the bases and in center field than he does at the plate. The White Sox drafted Danks in the 19th round three years ago and are looking for athletes, so they could reunite him with his older brother John, who's in their rotation.
8 240 Kevin Dubler C Illinois State Ill. $105,000
He's not quite in the same class as former Illinois catcher Lars Davis, whom the Rockies drafted in the third round a year ago, but Kevin Dubler is an offensive-minded catcher who should go somewhere between the fourth and seventh round. The lefthanded-hitting Dubler batted .358 this spring, set an Illinois State record with 23 doubles and walked nearly twice as much (44) as he struck out (23). He has a strong approach and consistently drives balls to the gap. He even runs well enough to have stolen 15 bases in 18 tries. Dubler moves well behind the plate, where he's a fringy defender. He already shows the aptitude to call his own game, however, and he got invaluable experience last summer, where he handled a loaded pitching staff with the Falmouth Commodores in the Cape Cod League.
9 270 Ryan Strauss RHP Florida State Fla. $30,000
Righthander Ryan Strauss has split time between starting and relieving this season. He finished the regular season 8-1, 4.39 in 19 appearances, eight of which were starts. Strauss throws between 90-93 mph and mixes in a curveball that is sharper in relief. He should make a good senior sign.
10 300 Stephen Sauer RHP Arizona State Ariz. $72,500
Sauer struggled under a heavy workload, according to scouts, losing the life on his pitches. In the first half, the Western Nevada transfer sat at 88-91 mph with sink and a swing-and-miss downer breaking ball to go with a solid straight change and get-it-over slurve.
11 330 Charlie Leesman LHP Xavier Ohio
Leesman is strong, standing 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds and reaching 93 mph with his fastball, but he lacks a great feel for pitching. After showing a quality fastball and a hammer curve at Xavier's scout day in the fall, Leesman went 2-6, 5.32 this spring. His heater sat at 88-91 mph, his curveball regressed and his command was inconsistent.
12 360 Steven Upchurch RHP Faith Academy, Mobile, Ala. Ala.
13 390 Dexter Carter RHP Old Dominion Va.
Dexter Carter opened the season as the Sunday starter, but command trouble limited his work and relegated him to the bullpen. Carter was a 12th-round pick of the Rangers in 2005 coming out of high school, and his 6-foot-6, 200-pound frame and live arm still give scouts plenty to dream on. His fastball has touched 97 and he pitches around 92 mph. Carter's slider can also be a plus pitch, but like his fastball is inconsistent.
14 420 Jorden Merry RHP Washington Wash.
Merry was more effective and turned into the Huskies' ace, which gave scouts time to warm up to him. He touched the low 90s with his fastball when he reached back for more, but worked better in the upper 80s, throwing his fastball with sink to the inner and outer halves of the plate. His curve and changeup are fringe-average, with the curveball lacking power. He added a slider he throws for strikes and would be a valuable senior ace for the Huskies, but could fit for some teams in the eighth to 12th round.
15 450 Tyler Kuhn SS West Virginia W.Va.
16 480 Brett Basham C Mississippi Miss.
Basham has a strong arm behind the plate but sometimes struggles with the transfer between catching and throwing. He's a below-average hitter.
17 510 Jon Weaver RHP East Leyden HS, Franklin Park, Ill. Ill.
Like Jimenez, righthander Jonathan Weaver has a projectable frame and hasn't signed with a four-year school. The 6-foot-3, 185 pounder has an easy, fluid delivery. His fastball sits in the upper 80s and touches the low 90s, and his breaking ball shows promise. He has committed to Heartland (Ill.) CC.
18 540 Josh Billeaud RHP Southern Mississippi Miss.
Josh Billeaud also was selected in last year's draft, by the Rays in the 21st round. He returned for his junior season but has struggled, finishing the regular season with a 3-4, 7.39 record. Billeaud had more walks (37) than strikeouts (33) in 63 innings. He has arm strength, with a fastball in the low 90s and power slider, but is inconsistent.
19 570 Justin Kuehn RHP Santa Clara Calif.
20 600 Justin Greene OF Francis Marion (S.C.) S.C.
21 630 Drew Garcia 2B UC Riverside Calif.
22 660 Jose Vargas 3B Ventura (Calif.) JC Calif.
23 690 Kyle Long LHP St. Anne's-Belfield School, Charlottesville, Va. Va.
Former Oakland Raiders star Howie Long already had a prominent draft pick this year, with son Chris going second overall to the St. Louis Rams. Now younger son Kyle Long is a baseball prospect as a lefthander. He plays with a mentality similar to his father's on the football field. Long is 6-foot-8, 285 pounds and attacks hitters with a low-90s fastball that can reach 95 mph. He's raw and pitches with a max-effort delivery, and his secondary pitches are currently below-average. He's committed to Florida State.
24 720 Brett Graffy RHP Notre Dame Ind.
Graffy, who touched 95 mph in his last Cape Cod League outing last summer, gets more run on his fastball and pitches in the high 80s when he drops down to a three-quarters arm slot. His splitter is a promising second pitch. Control never has been Graffy's strongest suit, and when he couldn't throw strikes he lost his role in the Fighting Irish bullpen.
25 750 Taylor Thompson RHP Auburn Ala.
Thompson is a draft-eligible sophomore who pitches in the low 90s with sink, but his secondary pitches are lacking. His slider can be fringe-average at times, and he also offers a split-finger fastball.
26 780 Jorge Castillo 1B Florida International Fla.
27 810 Doug Thennis 1B Texas Tech Texas
28 840 Brandon Short OF St. John's River (Fla.) JC Fla.
29 870 Randall Thorpe OF Heritage HS, Colleyville, Texas Texas
Randall Thorpe rated as the fastest player at the 2007 Area Code Games, running a 6.4-second 60-yard dash. He also has a strong arm, which makes him a standout defender in center field. But teams are unlikely to meet his asking price to keep him away from Texas A&M because they question his bat. He needs to add strength to his 6-foot-1, 170-pound frame, and he struggled to hit .300 against high school pitching this spring.
30 900 Kevin Asselin RHP Sonoma State (Calif.) Calif.
31 930 James McCann C Dos Pueblos HS, Santa Barbara, Calif. Calif.
One of the state's top catchers, James McCann has a tall, strong and projectable frame. He receives and throws the ball cleanly, but he will need to strengthen his arm and reduce his pop times. McCann's bat shows promise, but he does not yet exhibit the strength or bat speed to vault himself into the early rounds. If he does not sign he would wind up at Arkansas.
32 960 Justin Marrero 2B Reynoldsburg (Ohio) HS Ohio
33 990 Eddie Young INF Christian HS, El Cajon, Calif. Calif.
34 1020 Marcus Semien SS St. Mary's HS, Berkeley, Calif. Calif.
35 1050 Harold Riggins 1B Normal (Ill.) West HS Ill.
36 1080 Jordan Keegan OF Silverado HS, Las Vegas Nev.
37 1110 Terry Doyle RHP Boston College Mass.
Righthander Terry Doyle shared pitcher-of-the-year honors in the Cape Cod League in 2006, when he ranked as the league's No. 18 prospect, but a number of scouts wondered where that pitcher had gone this spring. Despite a prototype 6-foot-4, 225-pound frame, Doyle works in the 84-87 mph range with his fastball, his delivery has effort and his arm is slow. He pitches off a high-60s curveball and doesn't throw strikes consistently enough, and he went just 3-8, 6.96 as a senior this spring.
38 1140 Steve Domecus C Moorpark (Calif.) JC Calif.
39 1170 Rusty Shellhorn LHP Central Valley HS, Spokane Valley, Wash. Wash.
Rusty Shellhorn is just 5-foot-10, 165 pounds but had a record-setting spring. He has an outstanding curveball and mid-80s fastball that helped make him the state's player of the year. He struck out 21 in one game and had 125 strikeouts in fewer than 60 innings on the season.
40 1200 Mark Hawkenson RHP Red Mountain HS, Mesa, Ariz. Ariz.
Hawkenson flashed a 94 on several occasions. He's an Arizona recruit with a quick, loose arm but lacking in polish. He doesn't repeat his delivery and lacks balance over the rubber. A four-year starter, Bahramzadeh flashes 91-92 mph fastballs with good sink and life. His low-elbow delivery worries some scouts, and he's got enough power as a first baseman to contribute in college.
41 1230 Mason Radeke RHP Santa Barbara (Calif.) HS Calif.
42 1260 Steve Sabatino LHP Lockport (Ill.) Township HS Ill.
43 1290 Cory Farris C Boone County HS, Florence, Ky. Ky.
Cory Farris is the state's best athlete. He was runner-up for Mr. Kentucky Football in the fall, rushing for 2,824 yards and 32 touchdowns. His 6,227 career rushing yards are second in northern Kentucky history, trailing only fellow Boone County product Shaun Alexander, the NFL's 2005 Most Valuable Player. On the diamond, the 6-foot-1, 185-pounder is a switch-hitter with a decent swing, power potential and average speed. Though he has primarily caught in high school, he has fringy defensive skills behind the plate and projects as more of an outfielder. It won't be easy to sign him away from a Kentucky baseball scholarship.
44 1320 C.J. Cron Jr. C Mountain Pointe HS, Phoenix Ariz.
45 1349 Julian Kenner SS Whitney Young HS, Chicago Ill.
46 1377 Lee Fischer SS Missouri Mo.
47 1404 Dan Hayden C Xavier Ohio
48 1431 Ricardo Alvarez 2B San Fernando (Calif.) HS Calif.
49 1458 Travis Otto 1B Wheaton (Ill.) North HS Ill.
50 1485 Steve Florence SS Simeon Career Academy, Chicago Ill.