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Chicago White Sox 2018 MLB Draft Grades

Image credit: Photo by Bill Mitchell

Best Pure Hitter: 2B Nick Madrigal (1) was arguably the best hitter in the class, thanks in large part to extraordinary hand-eye coordination and an incredible knack for finding the barrel. He hit pretty much everything, both in college and as a pro. That’s both good and bad, as he also rarely walked in his pro debut. He walked and struck out a combined 12 times after signing with the White Sox.

Best Power: OF Romy Gonzalez (18) cracked 10 home runs in 201 at-bats with Rookie-level Great Falls in his pro debut after hitting just four in his junior season at Miami. There are other players in this class who earn higher grades for raw power, but Gonzalez’s 50-55 power is the best that plays in games.

Fastest Baserunner: Madrigal is a plus runner, turning in run times of between 4.1-4.2 seconds from home to first. He can get it going a little faster underway, too.

Best Defensive Player: Madrigal has well above-average hands, which benefited even further from his time former Gold Glove shortstop and Winston-Salem manager Omar Vizquel. He also showed an accurate throwing arm that he can crank up to plus when he really uncorks one. That combination may entice the White Sox to try Madrigal at shortstop at some point.

Best Athlete: OF Caberea Weaver (7) cuts an impressive physique at 6-foot-3 and 180 pounds, and shows plenty of looseness and athleticism on defense and on the bases. He doesn’t get great run times out of the box, but he can show plus or better speed when he gets going.

Best Fastball: RHP Lane Ramsey (23) sat in the mid 90s and cranked it up to 97 in college and as a pro. At 6-foot-9, he gets excellent extension on the pitch, too.

Best Secondary Pitch:  Drafted out of Virginia, LHP Bennett Sousa (10) throws a slider with high enough spin that TrackMan classifies the pitch as a curveball. He used the pitch to strike out 42 hitters in 35.1 innings in his pro debut.

Best Pro Debut: Madrigal played at three levels—Rookie-level Arizona League, low Class A Kannapolis and high Class A Winston-Salem—and didn’t strike out until his 20th game, on Aug. 4. He struck out just five times all year, and hit .303 for the abbreviated season.

Most Intriguing Background: Though they didn’t sign him, the White Sox gained national attention for their selection of Matt Klug (38), whose parents and childhood best friend all died during his high school career. The White Sox selected Klug as a way to honor him for all that he’d gone through while continuing to play baseball at Brookwood HS, in Snellville, Ga.

Best Late-Round Pick: Bryce Bush(33) was drafted as an outfielder, but the White Sox are trying him at third base. He’s understandably raw at the position, but the team believes he has the arm strength and athleticism to make it work. If not, he could move back to right field. His $290,000 bonus was the second largest of anyone taken after the 20th round.

The One Who Got Away: The White Sox’s first unsigned pick didn’t come until the 34th round, so they didn’t miss on many targets. LHP Mason Montgomery (39) has flashed 94-96 mph velocity and may develop into an excellent prospect at Texas Tech.

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