As the White Sox prepare for the amateur draft they find themselves in an odd position. They’ll have the eighth pick Monday but won’t get a chance to draft again until the 112th spot, and that’s something director of amateur scouting Doug Laumann and his staff are learning how to handle.
“I think more the preparation right now is more than anything, because now that we know we’re and eight and (112) there’s going to be 100 names that come off the board between our picks, so we don’t want to spend a lot of time and a lot of man-hours on talking about players that aren’t going to be there,” Laumann said Saturday. “Ultimately, somebody’s going to fall to us and we have to be prepared for whoever that happens to be.”
With the possibility of trading for somebody’s competitive balance pick virtually gone, the Sox know where they’ll be selecting. They don’t have second- and third-round picks after forfeiting them to sign David Robertson and Melky Cabrera but the first-round pick is intact, giving them a chance to snag a top-10 talent.
Which talent won’t be known until Monday, but Laumann said it “looks like” the Sox will be taking a college pitcher. And to better prepare for the draft, Laumann and his staff, spurred by assistant director of amateur Nick Hostetler, have spent time every morning going over any possible scenario they could think of.
“We assign each guy a certain organization, dig as much information as he can from that and then each day we try to have them put up a different scenario than the one from the day before,” Laumann said. “We’ve gone through a bunch of them. Probably 20, 25 of them and ultimately it keeps coming back to about two or three guys and more likely it will be one of those two or three guys that we end up with.”
One thing that isn’t changing is that the Sox will see plenty of players taken between their first two picks. But Rick Hahn said that wouldn’t change how they approach their first choice, that they “would still want to take the best player that we see available at that time when we pick eight.”
“In some ways, we’re going back a little bit to more old-school scouting with not having a second- and third-round pick,” Hahn said Friday. “The economics are going to be less of a factor as you get deeper in the draft, and it’s just going to be about projection and hustle and guys who’ve done their coverage well and getting some diamonds in the rough, so to speak, a little bit later.
“There’s going to be an opportunity to get some good players later, and it’s going to be less about economics and more about our scouts’ coverage.”