The White Sox selected Mississippi State pitcher Konnor Pilkington with their third-round pick, No. 81 overall, in the 2018 MLB Draft on Tuesday. The left-hander is the first pitcher drafted by the club this year after its first two selections were used on college hitters.
Pilkington, 20, gives the White Sox a talented pitching prospect with a good frame (6-3, 225 pounds) and a track record of success at Mississippi State.
He’s younger than normal for a pitcher coming out of college, as he doesn’t turn 21 until September, and his fastball topped out at 96 in the past. However, it’s reportedly been sitting closer to 88-91 and topping out at 93 this spring, which may limit his upside at the big league level. The size and polish remain selling points.
“We were very excited to have the opportunity to take him and add a premium starter like this in the third round,” scouting director Nick Hostetler said.
MLB.com ranked Pilkington as the No. 60 overall prospect in the 2018 draft class, while Baseball America had the same overall ranking while placing him fourth among players from Mississippi. ESPN didn’t include him on its top 100 list, on the other hand.
The approximate slot value for the No. 81 pick is $726,700. The White Sox will also need to sign Oregon State infielder Nick Madrigal, their first-round pick, and Oklahoma outfielder Steele Walker, their second-round pick.
Here are the Sox’ other picks from Tuesday:
Round 4: Lency Delgado, a 6-3, 210-pound high school shortstop from Doral Academy near Miami, Fla.
Round 5: Jonathan Stiever, right-handed pitcher, Indiana University. In 100 1/3 innings in 2018, the 6-1, 190-pounder posted a 3.41 ERA with 97 strikeouts and 32 walks.
Round 6: Cody Heuer, right-handed pitcher, Wichita State.
Round 7: Cabera Weaver, outfielder, South Gwinett (Ga.) High School.
Round 8: Andrew Perez, left-handed pitcher, South Florida.
Round 9: Gunnar Troutwine, catcher, Wichita State.
Round 10: Bennett Sousa, left-handed pitcher, Virginia.
The draft concludes Wednesday.