The Runner Sports

Assessing Power Bats Added By White Sox In First Two Days Of 2017 MLB Draft

Entering the 2017 MLB Draft, the Chicago White Sox were looking to add more power bats to their system and did just that in the first two days.  Adding power-hitting third baseman Jake Burger of Missouri State with the 11th overall pick on Monday and left-handed hitting first baseman Gavin Sheets of Wake Forest at No. 49 overall in the second round on Monday.

White Sox director of amateur scouting Nick Hostetler said from the press box at Guaranteed Rate Field on Tuesday how that distinct plan kind of stood with him and the organization in regards to the first two days of the draft.  “What we did is go down the whole home run total and said, ‘Let’s take them all.  One of them is going to hit them.”

Sure enough with Burger and Sheets, as well as their third-round pick, center fielder Luis Gonzalez, that’s what they got.  The three had 22, 20, and 20 home runs respectively this past season.  Gonzalez is even being seen as someone who could develop into a five-tool-type center fielder.

Hostetler added that Gonzalez “can run and play out there too.”  With his 35-of-36 in stolen base attempts at New Mexico proving it.  The two-way player hit .361 with 14 of those steals as a junior.

Besides Gonzalez and the Sox’s first two picks, Hostetler seemed to have the most support of work for seventh-round pick Evan Skoug.  A left-handed hitting catcher from Libertyville, Illinois and a part of the College World Series-bound TCU, Skoug had 20 homers and 67 RBIs for the Horned Frogs this year.  Skoug was the No. 48 prospect in the draft, who slipped all the way to pick No. 207.  Hostetler said how Evan plans on using that as part of his motivation to get where he wants to in the organization.

“Guys have questioned his catch and throw.  We do as well.  We’re not telling you, ‘I’m 100 percent he stays behind the plate.’ But after talking with him and as aggressive as he was in the conversation with his belief in his ability, I’m not going to tell him he’s not going to.  He’s a driven kid.  He’s using this as a little bit of a slap in the face.  He’s excited to come back home.  There’s going to be a little chip on his shoulder.”