CHICAGO -- It was almost two full decades ago when the White Sox last had a top 10 selection in the first round of the First-Year Player Draft.
At that time, in 1990, the South Siders used the fourth overall pick on a right-handed pitcher out of Miami Dade South Community College named Alex Fernandez. He turned out to be more than a moderate Major League success, winning 107 games over a 10-year career for the White Sox and Marlins. He pitched in the playoffs for Chicago in 1993 and with Florida in '97.
So, it seems only fitting that the White Sox would bring back Fernandez as one of their 2008 representatives at the Draft table, with the team holding the eighth pick overall after last year's 72-90 showing. The 38-year-old Fernandez retired after the 2000 campaign.
MLB.com will carry every pick of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, which takes place June 5-6 at The Milk House at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, Fla. Day 1 coverage on BaseballChannel.TV begins at noon CT with a special ceremonial draft of former Negro Leaguers who will be on hand at The Milk House. The First-Year Player Draft follows at 1 p.m. with a simulcast of ESPN2's broadcast of the first round and compensation picks. The remaining rounds on Day 1 will be shown exclusively on BaseballChannel.TV, with live analysis on site from MLB.com Draft guru Jonathan Mayo and David Rawnsley of Perfect Game USA.
Several of the top amateur prospects are expected to be in attendance in Orlando for Day 1 of the Draft, and each of the 30 Major League clubs will be represented by front-office executives and baseball luminaries. Fans are welcome to attend Day 1 of the Draft, and admission to The Milk House is free. Seating is limited to a first-come, first-served basis.
Day 2 will get under way at 10:30 a.m. and continue through Round 50, if necessary. Every pick on Day 2 can be heard live at MLB.com.
Pepe Ortega will join Fernandez in representing the White Sox in Orlando. Ortega currently serves as an area scout for the South Florida region. Ortega signed Fernandez some 18 years ago, so the White Sox are trying to build that same sort of successful Draft karma once again.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.