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Skoug aiming high despite late Draft selection

Sox 7th-rounder out to 'show the 206 picks before me that I was the real deal'
MLB.com @scottmerkin

CHICAGO -- Take a look at MLBPipeline.com's list of the Top 200 Prospects heading into the 2017 MLB Draft, and Evan Skoug's name pops up at 48.

So being selected in the seventh round by the White Sox, at No. 207 overall, could serve as a source of consternation for the left-handed hitting catcher from TCU, or provide the ultimate chip on his shoulder.

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CHICAGO -- Take a look at MLBPipeline.com's list of the Top 200 Prospects heading into the 2017 MLB Draft, and Evan Skoug's name pops up at 48.

So being selected in the seventh round by the White Sox, at No. 207 overall, could serve as a source of consternation for the left-handed hitting catcher from TCU, or provide the ultimate chip on his shoulder.

View Full Game Coverage

Instead Skoug was nothing but positive when speaking recently to MLB.com after signing with the team and receiving an over-slot $300,000 bonus.

• Complete 2017 MLB Draft coverage

"I've been trying to look [at the] glass-half-full side. At some point, you need to let it go anyways," Skoug said. "It doesn't matter where you start. It's where you finish.

"So yeah, it wasn't what I expected, but I'm going to do my best to get up quickly and show the 206 picks before me that I was the real deal. At the end of the day, I'm just thankful for the opportunity that one of the teams took a chance on me and just really thankful for the White Sox giving me the opportunity.

"I'll do my best to work my butt off," Skoug said. "I want to make sure I represent the White Sox at a world-class level, to make sure this is a pick they are going to really enjoy for hopefully a long time."

Video: Draft Report: Evan Skoug, College catcher

As a player at Libertyville High School, situated 45 minutes north of Guaranteed Rate Field, Skoug only had collegiate interest from TCU, Santa Clara, the Air Force and Vanderbilt before the Commodores pulled out. That situation worked out well for the 2017 co-Big 12 Player of the Year.

Skoug's home runs jumped from 16 combined in his first two seasons with TCU to 20 as a junior, while driving in 71. Skoug also went from 97 strikeouts combined in those same two years (against 62 walks) to 98 in '17, which might have affected his Draft status.

"Early in the year, if you cut that part out of my season, my numbers are completely different at the end," Skoug said. "I was getting away from the basics and putting myself in a position where I physically couldn't make contact with the baseball. My track record says I don't do that very often."

Here's a little more insight into Skoug: The 5-foot-11, 200-pound catcher's baseball allegiance fell with neither the Cubs nor the White Sox. He was born in Kalamazoo, Mich., and was a Yankees fan because of hometown sensation Derek Jeter.

"He was my idol. He was my guy," said Skoug, who has spent 10 years in Libertyville, Ill., with his family. "As I moved over here, it was more of just rooting for players, not really specific teams."

Allegiances have changed for the career .286 hitter with an .869 OPS as part of the Horned Frogs. A position switch eventually could be possible for Skoug, who is ready to do whatever it takes to get the Majors. But he has the confidence to stay at catcher, now and in the future, and the White Sox feel the same way.

"It's part of a dream come true," said Skoug, who thanked his parents, older brother and older sister for helping him get to this level. "The real dream come true is making the big leagues."

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.

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