White Sox hope they found sleeper in 11th-round pick

White Sox hope they found sleeper in 11th-round pick

CHICAGO -- Ian Hamilton holds the Washington State career saves record with 28, amassed over his first two seasons as part of the Cougars.

Hamilton features a fastball in the 94-97 mph range out of the bullpen, according to MLBPipeline.com, and fanned 39 over 40 1/3 innings, primarily in relief as part of the Cape Cod League last summer. So why was the right-hander available in the 11th round of the 2016 MLB Draft, where he was taken by the White Sox?

There's a chance Hamilton dropped when moving to the rotation for his junior campaign, posting a 2-10 record with a 4.86 ERA over 15 starts. He's somewhat representative of the higher picks on Saturday.

"There's a lot of guys we took today that have that one dynamic impact talent tool," White Sox director of amateur scouting Nick Hostetler said. "If we can, our guys make it a little bit more consistent for them, I think they have a chance."

White Sox satisfied they got gamers with picks

Hostetler provided another example in Michael Hickman, a catcher the White Sox selected in the 13th round out of Chipola College. They took him in the 34th round last year and made a run at signing him out of high school, but let him grow a little bit and watched him a little longer going into this season.

"We think we are going to be able to get something done with him this year," Hostetler said. "He's a big 19-year-old kid with a good bat and can catch and play first base."

The White Sox selected left-handed pitcher Garrett Acton out of Lemont High School in the 35th round. The young man, who turns 18 in four days, had quite a Saturday by also pitching his team to the Illinois 3A state championship. All of this comes after his father, Gordon, passed away in his sleep on Oct. 19, 2015.

"He'll be a kid that will go to school," Hostetler said. "We just wanted to draft him, with a little bit of notoriety for a young man who had to deal with a lot of adversity in his life.

"To show the resilience to come back and win the state championship, his family and his friends are proud of him, and I know we are. It was an honor for us to get to take him."

2016 Draft Recap: White Sox

Shortstop Brandon Bossard, the son of White Sox head groundskeeper Roger Bossard, was selected in the 31st round out of Nazareth Academy. Hostetler mentioned that the elder Bossard was in the Draft room and got a little emotional when the pick was made.

Bossard has the chance to be a pretty good junior college player, according to Hostetler, who watched him at the White Sox Area Code event. But it could be Hamilton, the first pick of the day, who ends up as the White Sox biggest reward in the long term.

"Our guys saw him, including myself, in the Cape this summer as a one-inning reliever, and it was dominant, filthy stuff. He's got back-end bullpen-type ability," Hostetler said. "There's no reason why he can't repeat what he did last summer in the Cape."

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.