Scouting director on value of 3 picks in Top 50

Hostetler wants White Sox to keep all selections, but knows it might not happen

Scouting director on value of 3 picks in Top 50

CHICAGO -- Nick Hostetler has to come clean.

When he has heard rumblings of White Sox interest in free agents who received and turned down qualifying offers from their respective teams, he makes his feelings known to general manager Rick Hahn.

"I can't lie and say that I haven't sent him an email that I think all of them have bad makeup and none of them like Chicago and all that," said the White Sox director of amateur scouting with a laugh, while speaking at the conclusion of SoxFest on Sunday at the Hilton Chicago.

Of course, Hostetler was kidding. But as the man in his first year running the White Sox Draft, an important component to this dual purpose "revamp while contending" being undertaken by the White Sox, the addition of one of these players requiring Draft compensation directly affects Hostetler's plans.

At No. 10 overall, the White Sox top pick is protected.

They would lose the compensatory selection between the first and second rounds coming from Jeff Samardzija joining the Giants via free agency, leaving them still with a full complement of picks. Selfishly, Hostetler would like three picks in the Top 50.

Ultimately, Hostetler wants the White Sox to do whatever possible to win a World Series championship.

"Quite frankly, if the big league team doesn't win, I don't keep my job," Hostetler said. "The big thing is trying to figure out what fits with that core, what player at [No.] 28 could fit in that core, or is it better for us to get a player now that fits with the core of Chris Sale and Jose Abreu and Todd Frazier and those guys?

"All of our guys are chomping at the bit to have this extra pick, extra cap. But at the same time, if it's a big league player that helps put a ring on our finger and gets us playing into October, all bets are off."

Hostetler and his staff have their first pick narrowed down to about 25 candidates, with 15 being position players. As the Draft moves closer, some players will drop out and some will move back into consideration.

Having that extra pick allows the White Sox to potentially get a double bonus, with a passed over player available at 10 still being available at 28. That player almost certainly won't be available to the White Sox in the second round, some 20 picks later.

Hahn spoke directly about the value of the extra pick, but also hasn't shied away this offseason from pursuing players with compensation that can help the big league team. Hostetler, at the core, understands the importance for connecting on these early picks.

"You have to be right," Hostetler said. "If you don't take pride in it, if you don't want to produce the best possible players for Jerry Reinsdorf and Kenny Williams and Rick Hahn, you shouldn't be sitting here making the pick."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.