From June 9-11, the White Sox will have a chance to make another significant step toward a bright future at the MLB Draft. They'll have the 10th pick overall, two picks in the top 26 and three in the top 49, with a bonus pool of $9,416,600.
General manager Rick Hahn has talked about replenishing the big league club from within as part of the combined revamping and contending process. None of the White Sox 2016 Draft picks figures to make an immediate impact, with recent draftees Chris Sale and Carlos Rodon being more exceptions than rules, but the club should be able to strengthen its core and accumulate important options for the next two or three years.
"I truly believe that every Draft should be the most important," said White Sox director of amateur scouting Nick Hostetler, who is in his first year as the club's man in charge of the Draft.
"When you have extra [picks], it's something that you want to do -- especially the pool money we are going to have the first 10 rounds; we have close to $9.5 million to spend. With that and the amount of money that we are able to spread around, I think that obviously to continue to improve our system, come June 9, this is going to be huge for us."
Hostetler raved about the work already put in by his area scouts and cross-checkers, and he was equally effusive when talking about the communication he's had with Hahn, executive vice president Ken Williams and vice president/assistant general manager Buddy Bell throughout the process. The White Sox field -- including high school pitchers, high school hitters, college pitchers and college hitters -- has been narrowed down to 20 names.
Those 20 players will almost certainly produce the team's picks at Nos. 10 and 26, the latter a compensatory selection the White Sox obtained when Jeff Samardzija signed with the Giants. The team is considering about 15 players for the No. 10 selection.
"It's just to give ourselves options, and we want to make sure that we leave no stone unturned," Hostetler said. "That's our biggest thing, being prepared. And then come Draft Day, literally, it's taking a name off the board.
"We've done all the work prior -- makeup, background, evaluations. Draft Day, it's Christmas Day. You are just opening your presents."
The players being scouted are presents ranked primarily by talent, not by position or signability factors.
"Regardless of what the dollar figure is, it's going to be the best talent available," Hostetler said. "It's so hard with baseball because they aren't instant impact guys, like [those in the] NBA and NFL who impact your big league club immediately. If it's the best player, regardless of who it is, what position they play, we are going to take him."