DENVER -- The White Sox didn't expect to have a great deal of options when selecting 15th Monday, exactly in the middle of the First-Year Player Draft's first round. But when the official announcement came from the White Sox at 12:18 p.m. CT, they really didn't need much time to think about their pick. Lance Broadway, a 6-foot-4, 195-pound right-handed pitcher from Texas Christian University was available, and Broadway quickly became the latest first-round selection for the South Siders. "First off, I was ecstatic," said Broadway via a conference call Tuesday afternoon. "It's one of the best days of my life.
"I was a little surprised to go 15. I didn't learn I would be a first-rounder until yesterday. People speculated low first round, so to see myself go 15 was definitely a shock." Broadway stood as one of three players available at No. 15 who had received serious interest from the White Sox. Local products Cesar Carrillo and Brian Bogusevic, who prepped in Chicago at Mt. Carmel High School and De La Salle High School, respectively, also were there for the taking. Carrillo, a right-handed pitcher, went on to become a standout hurler for the University of Miami (Fla.), while the left-handed Bogusevic currently leads Tulane both on the mound and in the outfield. It was just this past weekend when Duane Shaffer, the White Sox's senior director of player personnel, acknowledged that both Carrillo and Bogusevic had drawn a great deal of his team's interest and that there was "a lot of talking about them through the spring." Talking, in the long run, didn't turn into selecting. Carrillo went No. 18 to San Diego, while Bogusevic went No. 24 to Houston. There isn't a team in baseball who won't rave about making the perfect pick after the first round is complete, but Shaffer sounded as if Broadway was in the team's crosshairs for the past couple of weeks. "More like two months," said Shaffer during a Tuesday afternoon conference call, mentioning that the White Sox have followed Broadway as far back as his first two seasons with Dallas Baptist and this current season after he transferred to TCU. "Everyone to a man thought this was a guy we should take. "He has pitchability, (good) stuff and past success. If you look at the numbers he's put up and who he's done it against, he's pitched against the best competition, amateur-wise, and dominated." Dominance might not be a strong enough description for what Broadway accomplished in 2005. He finished his junior year with a sparkling 15-1 record and 1.62 ERA, striking out 151 over 117 innings, while allowing just 83 hits and 35 walks. He threw four complete games and one shutout, holding the opposition to a .191 average. The 15-win total led all Division I pitchers and set a new school record, as well as a new victory record in Conference USA. Broadway was named the Conference USA Pitcher of the Year and put together a streak of 36 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings earlier in the season. Louisville Slugger recently named Broadway a First-Team All-American, the first such honor for a TCU player since 1999. The talented Texan also led the Horned Frogs to a 41-20 record and a berth in the NCAA Regionals.Broadway pitched a six-hitter during TCU's opening-round victory this past weekend over Stanford, before his team lost the next two contests and was eliminated from competition. That particular game confirmed Broadway's first-round potential, although he had been told prior to the contest that there wouldn't be many scouts in attendance because the days before the draft are considered a dead week. Through the ecstasy of the selection, Broadway did find time to talk about his desire to sign quickly with the White Sox. He is represented by Ryan Ware, who works for agents Adam Katz, Tom Reich and Craig Landis, an important fact for a team that did not want to deal with a potential Scott Boras client. Monday's pick marks the first pitcher taken by the White Sox in the first round since Royce Ring at No. 18 in 2002. It also marks the fourth straight year in which the White Sox have opened with a collegiate player, instead of dipping into the high school ranks. In 2001, the White Sox selected Kris Honel, a right-hander who pitched for Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox, Ill. For those who are upset that the White Sox passed on either of the local products Tuesday, there is a distant Chicago connection held by Broadway. He pitched three years for Grand Prairie High School in Texas, also the starting ground for current White Sox Minor Leaguer Kevin Walker and Cubs starter Kerry Wood. There is very little comparison, though, between Broadway and Wood, or Broadway and any other young hurlers from the "Fireballer State," according to Broadway.
"I'm aggressive with the fastball but I don't throw 94 or 95 mph and haven't been blessed with that sort of pitch like some of the other guys," Broadway said. "I have to use my offspeed pitches. I have to work both sides of the plate."
Along with a fastball usually ranging from 90-92 mph, but a pitch that can get it up to 94 mph when necessary, Broadway also has a good hard curveball and a tantalizing changeup. He can throw both pitches for strikes to both sides of the plate, against lefties or righties, which truly impressed Shaffer.
His high level of success, coupled with the advanced strength of his pitching repertoire, could make this top-notch collegiate hurler a valuable contributor to the White Sox sooner than later. But that reason wasn't why Broadway became the South Siders' selection.
The team wanted the best player available, whether he was from Chicago or Texas. In the process, Broadway soon will have a chance to fulfill a lifelong dream.
"We were looking at Carrillo and Bogusevic, but this guy came to the forefront and dominated our minds as far as ability goes," Shaffer said of Broadway. "There aren't too many weaknesses on him, and if he's on the fast track, all the more power to him and to us."
"I am completely satisfied with the White Sox," added Broadway, who will be in Chicago to take a physical during the next homestand.
Texas Christian University
Position: RHP B/T: R/R
H: 6'4" W: 190
Born: 08-20-1983 Class: 4YR
Slender frame. Trim look. Rounded shoulders. Similar to Justin Duchscherer. Aggressive w/ FB, occasional avg velocity, control both sides of plate. Spiked CB, 12-6 break. Uses natural 3/4 CB as off speed. Command of both pitches. Fields position well.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.