White Sox will be busy early on in Draft

South Siders have three picks among top 49 on Day 1

White Sox will be busy early on in Draft

CHICAGO -- The 2016 Draft will take place today through Saturday, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com at 5 p.m. CT. Live Draft coverage from MLB Network's Studio 42 begins at 6 p.m., with the top 77 picks being streamed on MLB.com and broadcast on MLB Network. MLB.com's exclusive coverage of Day 2 begins with a live Draft show at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, with exclusive coverage of Day 3 beginning at noon on Saturday.

MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 200 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of over 1,500 Draft-eligible players. Every selection will be tweeted live from @MLBDraftTracker, and you can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.

Here's how the Draft is shaping up for the White Sox, whose first selection is the 10th overall pick.

In about 50 words
This Draft marks the first with Nick Hostetler at the helm as White Sox director of amateur scouting, although he handled everything after the first round in 2015. With three picks in the first 50 (Nos. 10, 26 and 49), Hostetler and company will have an active first day.

"It's going to be busy, and it's going to be fun," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. "We're excited about some of the possibilities.

"You won't know until things get going how realistic some of the clusters for each of our picks are. But there are a lot of interesting names to choose from potentially at those spots."

The scoop
Adding pick No. 26 as compensation for free agent Jeff Samardzija signing with the Giants could make a significant difference for the White Sox and their overall revamping process. There was much talk during Hahn's offseason free-agent pursuits as to whether the White Sox would sign a player that cost them a pick after their protected selection at 10. But Hostetler enters the Draft with everything intact, building scenarios with his staff at 10 and 26.

Top 2016 MLB Draft Prospects

"There's a lot of different jockeying that goes on with that pick at 26, because it did give us an extra $2 million [in Draft pool money]," Hostetler said. "I do think at that point it gives us the ability to be creative.

"Having three picks on the first day, we are actually going to be able to do something other than sit around and eat pizza. It will be great."

The White Sox didn't have a pick between No. 8 and No. 112 last year due to the free-agent signings of David Robertson and Melky Cabrera.

First-round buzz
Corey Ray stands as the ideal pick at No. 10 for the White Sox. He's a multifaceted outfield talent who is the definition of a homegrown product, having begun the formative stage of his baseball career as part of the White Sox Amateur City Elite youth baseball program. But will Ray still be around when the White Sox select? The team always seems to be in search of its catcher of the future, and Miami's Zack Collins would fit that description.

2016 Draft: Corey Ray, OF

Money matters
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team has an allotted bonus pool equal to the sum of the values of that club's selections in the first 10 rounds of the Draft. The more picks a team has, and the earlier it picks, the larger the pool. The signing bonuses for a team's selections in the first 10 rounds, plus any bonus greater than $100,000 for a player taken after the 10th round, will apply toward the bonus-pool total.

The White Sox have been assigned a pool of $9,416,600, ranking them seventh overall. That number is slightly down from $9,509,700 in 2014, which stood as a franchise high coming off a 99-loss campaign. The value assigned to Chicago's first-round pick is $3,380,600; the value is $2,128,500 at No. 26 and $1,284,500 at No. 49.

Any team going up to 5 percent over its allotted pool will be taxed at a 75 percent rate on the overage. A team that overspends by 5-10 percent gets a 75 percent tax, plus the loss of a first-round pick. A team that goes 10-15 percent over its pool amount will be hit with a 100 percent penalty on the overage and the loss of a first- and second-round pick. Any overage of 15 percent or more gets a 100 percent tax plus the loss of first-round picks in the next two Drafts.

Shopping list
The words "best player available" fit the team's overall Draft philosophy. So if the answer is a left-handed pitcher, an area where the organization is deep, it would still take that player at No. 10 over a catcher, for example. The White Sox are focused on baseball-talented players more than strong athletes with baseball ability.

Trend watch
This Draft is deepest in high school position players overall, and the White Sox frequently seem to be in search of their next everyday contributor from within the system. But since 2000, the White Sox have taken one high school position player with their first pick (Courtney Hawkins, 2012).

Recent Draft history

Rising fast
No. 2 White Sox prospect Tim Anderson was the choice last year in this category, and the talented shortstop gets the nod again in 2016. Due to his lack of baseball experience coming into the '13 Draft, Anderson was viewed as a level-to-level player. But he has turned a slow '16 start into a distant memory with 21 multihit games at Triple-A Charlotte. Anderson certainly could force his way to the big leagues when the White Sox feel comfortable he can handle the pressure, the possibility for failure and the wear and tear.

Anderson's triple in the 6th

Cinderella story
Brad Goldberg (10th round, 2013) put himself on the map going into the 2014 season, but he struggled mightily with Class A Winston-Salem. He's bounced back nicely since, and he's now working the late innings for Charlotte, and the right-hander could get a call to the Major Leagues this season.

In the Show
Chris Sale (2010, 13th overall) someday will rival Hall of Famer Frank Thomas as one of the greatest Draft picks in franchise history. For now, the left-hander looks to be one of the early favorites for the '16 American League Cy Young Award. Carlos Rodon ('14, third overall) has completed approximately one year as part of the White Sox rotation, Nate Jones ('07, fifth round) serves as the team's primary setup man, and Tyler Saladino ('10, seventh round) has settled in at shortstop.

Recent top Draft picks
2015:
Carson Fulmer, RHP, Double-A Birmingham
2014: Rodon, LHP, White Sox rotation
2013: Anderson, SS, Charlotte
2012: Hawkins, OF, Birmingham
2011: Keenyn Walker, OF, Birmingham

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. 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.