On Tuesday, the White Sox had a plan for day two of the MLB Draft and they executed it as best as they could. That plan involved aiming for high upside picks in rounds three and four with both of them possibly needing an over-slot value to sign. Following those picks, the White Sox drafted six college seniors to wrap up their day, giving them some financial flexibility for the previous picks, and for some of the picks in the upcoming rounds today.
Scott Merkin of MLB.com had the chance to talk with Nick Hostetler, who touched on the signability of the White Sox prep draft picks so far:
Hostetler: “I feel pretty confident we are going to get all the high school guys in. That was the purpose of the later drafts was to make sure we had enough money to get these high school guys signed. I feel really really confident we’ll get everybody finished.”
— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) June 5, 2019
Additionally, Hostetler also talked about how the White Sox plan for today is to aim for more talent from the high school ranks:
Hostetler: “The goal for tomorrow early on is to add high-end high school talent again. There’s some guys on the board we really like. Then also go back to the well on power arms. I would liken tomorrow to very similar to what we did last year 11 through 40.”
— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) June 4, 2019
So far, this draft class for the White Sox is very intriguing and the club has done a good job at balancing their picks between potential, need, and flexibility. Let’s take a look at some of the prospects that the White Sox selected on Tuesday.
Round 3, 81st Overall: Andrew Dalquist, RHP, Redondo Union High School (California)
At 6’2″, 170 lbs, Dalquist is committed to the University of Arizona and was rated as the 65th best prospect in the draft, according to MLB Pipeline. Throughout his high school career, Dalquist posted a 2.05 ERA with 45 strikeouts and 23 walks in 41 IP in two seasons as a member of the varsity baseball team. In those two seasons, opponents hit .192 against him and he only allowed one home run.
Andrew Dalquist fits the bill of someone who is most likely going to require an over-slot value to sign. MLB Pipeline issued him the scouting grades of: 60-grade fastball, 55-grade curveball, 50-grade slider, 50-grade changeup, 50-grade control, and 50-grade overall. His fastball sits around the low-90s and he owns two-seamer that has some decent life to it. His curveball has some nice late break to it and has the chance the chance to turn into a much better offering as he develops.
Here’s a clip of Andrew Dalquist showing off some of his arsenal from the guys at Prospect Pipeline:
Scouts have given Andrew Dalquist the label of a “tough sign” before and after the draft process. However, Nick Hostetler seems very confident in his ability to land his prep selections, so I expect Dalquist to be heading off to his minor league assignment (most likely the Arizona Rookie League) in the very near future.
Round 4, 110th Overall: James Beard, OF, Loyd Star High School (Mississippi)
James Beard stands in at 6’0″, 190 lbs and was a four year member of the varsity baseball team at Loyd Star High School. Throughout his career, Beard slashed .409/.535/.741 with 35 doubles, 16 triples, 18 home runs, 103 RBI, 81 walks, and 78 strikeouts. The most impressive part of Beard’s high school career? He went 94-97 in stolen bases between all four season. His speed is the most impressive aspect of his game and he received an 80-grade from MLB Pipeline, making him the fastest player in this draft class.
Aside from the excellent speed, Beard has been developing power on a yearly basis. He did not leave the yard during his freshman season. That number would continue to rise as he hit ten home runs during his senior season. Beard has been solid in the field so far, mainly due to his speed, but he has the potential to develop into an excellent outfielder at the next level.
The development of power and his natural speed make James Beard a very intriguing selection for the White Sox. He’s drawn comparisons to Billy Hamilton so far, which is an easy comparison considering both of their biggest strengths are their speed. However, I can see James Beard developing into more of an offensive force than Hamilton is/ever will be, with significantly more pop in his swing. His high school numbers are extremely impressive, although many scouts say they worry about him due to the fact that he hasn’t played against great competition so far.
MLB Pipeline ranked James Beard as the 127th best overall prospect in this class and issued him the scouting grades of: 45-grade hit, 45-grade power, 80-grade run, 45-grade arm, 55-grade field, and 45-grade overall. He possesses a lot of tools that could make this selection an absolute steal for the White Sox down the road. If Beard signs, he’s likely headed to play in the Arizona Rookie League as well since he will be just 18-years-old for his first professional season. Plus, there’s no reason to rush someone like Beard, who will be considered a “project” while he works on his development.
5th Round, 140th Overall: Dan Metzdorf, LHP, Boston College (Senior)
Dan Metzdorf checks in at 5’10”, 176 lbs and started out his career at Boston College as a bullpen arm before becoming a starting pitcher for his final three seasons. The left-hander posted a 4.42 ERA with 191 strikeouts and 100 walks in 240.1 IP during his career at Boston College. This year, Metzdorf put together his most impressive campaign by posting a 2.30 ERA with 72 strikeouts and 32 walks in 82.1 IP. The impressive 2019 season earned Metzdorf a spot on the Collegiate Baseaball All-America Third Team.
6th Round, 170th Overall: Avery Weems, LHP, University of Arizona (Senior)
Before pitching for the Wildcats, Avery Weems played two season at Yavapi College. The 6’2″, 205 lbs left-hander was used as a swing man for Arizona. Between the 2018 and 2019 season, Weems posted a combined 6.46 ERA with 86 strikeouts and 40 walks in 117 IP. He made 17 starts for the Wildcats and picked up three saves during his two seasons with the team.
7th Round, 200th Overall: Karan Patel, RHP, University of Texas-San Antonio (Senior)
Karan Patel is a 6’0″, 200 lbs right-handed pitcher who was also used a swing man during the majority of his college career, but was used solely as a starter for the 2019 season. In four seasons with the Roadrunners, Patel posted a 4.36 ERA with 250 strikeouts and 141 walks with opponents hitting .245 against him in 250.0 IP. In 2019 when he was used solely as a starter, Patel pounded the strike zone as he racked up 104 strikeouts and only walked 36 hitters all season. Patel also comes from a cricket background where he followed in the footsteps of his father by playing for the USA Cricket National Team on three different occasions.
8th Round, 230th Overall: Ivan Gonzalez, C, West Virginia University (Senior)
Ivan Gonzalez is a 5’9″, 190 lbs catcher who also played a little bit of third base during his time with the Mountaineers. His collegiate career got off to a promising start by being named to the Baseball America Freshman All-America Team, however, that would be the only postseason accolade Gonzalez would earn. Throughout his career, Gonzalez slashed .289/.360/.393 with 35 doubles, 9 home runs, 85 RBI, 65 walks, and 75 strikeouts. Behind the plate and at third base, Gonzalez posted a .988 career fielding percentage.
9th Round, 260th Overall: Tyson Messer, RHP, Campbell University (Senior)
Tyson Messer is a 6’0″, 215 lbs right-handed pitcher who was strictly used in the bullpen during his four seasons at Campbell University. After a rough freshman campaign where he piled up an 11.85 ERA, Messer made improvements in the following seasons. In his four seasons combined, Messer posted a 5.99 ERA with 127 strikeouts and 114 walks in 112.2 IP. As he got older, he saw more experience as a closed and picked up 14 saves throughout his collegiate career and led his conference in that category during his junior season. In that same season, he was named to the All-Big South Second Team.
10th Round, 290th Overall: Nate Pawelczyk, RHP, Winthrop University (Senior)
The eighth and final selection of the day for the White Sox is…you guessed it, another college senior. Pawelczyk is a 6’1″, 190 lbs right-hander who started out as a member of the bullpen and eventually took over a spot in the starting rotation. Prior to the 2019 season, he posted a combined 4.00 ERA with 123 strikeouts and 69 walks in 139.2 IP, holding opponents to a .223 average when facing him. He was named to the All-Big South First Team in 2017 and the All-Big South Second Team in 2018. During the 2019 season, he threw 92.1 innings, racking up 83 strikeouts and just 29 walks while posting a 3.90 ERA. The 92.1 innings marked a career-high for him as he handled his transition to a full-time starter relatively easily.
As you can see, the White Sox had a plan on Tuesday and they did a great job at executing that plan. The Dalquist and Beard picks could end up being a great value for where they were selected. So far, the White Sox have been doing an excellent job with the 2019 draft and it seems like this class could end up consisting of quite a few major league players. On Tuesday, they managed to make a variety of selections that will allow them to allocate their money strategically, whether that be to players already selected, or other players they have on their radar for today. Buckle up White Sox fans, the last day of the 2019 MLB Draft could be an interesting one as the White Sox will have the resources available to add some more intriguing prospects.
Follow Sean on Twitter (@TLS_Sean) for more White Sox news and opinion.