White Sox select Oklahoma outfielder Steele Walker in second round

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Steele Walker. (Sooner Athletics)

The White Sox selected Oklahoma outfielder Steele Walker in the second round of the major league draft Monday night.

Walker, selected 46th overall, is a 5-11 junior who bats left and throws left. He batted .352/.441/.606 for the Sooners this season. He has played all outfield positions in college but scouting director Nick Hostetler envisions Walker playing center field.

“We felt he was a first-round pick who got down to the second round,” Hostetler said.

“We feel Steele is going to be a center fielder. We’ve seen him play there a long time.”

He moved over from center field to right field due to the fact [No. 9 overall pick, Oakland Athletics] Kyler Murray was playing center field there. Steele can play center field. He’s a plus runner with plus power, average to above average hit tool, above average plus arm, just a pure all around left-handed bat.

“Another one, his teammates love him. He has a flair about his game that is second to none. It’s a fun product to watch. He gets after it, he’s very confident, a very composed kid.”

More from Hostetler on Walker:

“Steele had huge success last year with Team USA with the wood bat, so I don’t expect any sort of delay in his development in regards to getting adjusted to the wood. I think he’s going to be a guy that hits the ground running from the left side. His speed is going to help him as well. It’s not positive where we would have him go, obviously. Everyone knows there’s a log jam a little bit in the outfield in the minor leagues. [Director of Player Development Chris Getz] Getzy will find him playing time. That’s on him now, so I just made his job a little bit harder. That’s a good thing. Hopefully we’ll continue to give him good players throughout this draft the next two days that he’s going to have a hard time getting in lineups. That’s our goal is to make it as hard as possible for these guys to find playing time because that means all the players we’re bringing in are good.

“But I think Steele’s a guy that’s pretty advanced from that standpoint. But he’s also got some ceiling to him, there’s tools there that still have some refinement left in them. I think there’s still some top-shelf ceiling left in him.”

The Sox selected Oregon State infielder Nick Madrigal with the fourth overall pick.

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