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Hostetler talks White Sox Draft strategy

Chicago's picks a result of year of preparation by director of amateur scouting, team
MLB.com @scottmerkin

CHICAGO -- There's not much extra rebuild pressure felt by White Sox director of amateur scouting Nick Hostetler picking No. 4 in the first round of the 2018 MLB Draft, beginning Monday night at 5 p.m. CT on MLB Network and MLB.com.

There's already a strong built-in desire for Hostetler to hit on that pick and as many others as possible, regardless of the future ramifications, after spending 260 days on the road this past year in preparation.

CHICAGO -- There's not much extra rebuild pressure felt by White Sox director of amateur scouting Nick Hostetler picking No. 4 in the first round of the 2018 MLB Draft, beginning Monday night at 5 p.m. CT on MLB Network and MLB.com.

There's already a strong built-in desire for Hostetler to hit on that pick and as many others as possible, regardless of the future ramifications, after spending 260 days on the road this past year in preparation.

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"You still have to go about it the same way, whether we're going fourth or picking 30th or we're in the rebuild or we're winning championships," said Hostetler, speaking to the media prior to Friday's game against the Brewers. "You really take pride in the amount of work that you put in on this, and that goes for our whole staff.

"But to say that there's not a little added pressure because of where we're at or where we're picking, that would be a lie. It's just part of human nature. You feel it a little bit. You guys want to talk to me a little more when you're picking this high as opposed to picking low."

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Hostetler moves into his third Draft in charge, having taken catcher Zack Collins (2016) and third baseman Jake Burger (2017) as his previous first-round selections. Those particular picks won't stop the White Sox from taking a catcher or third baseman fourth if he's the best player available.

University of Florida right-handed pitcher Brady Singer, Oregon State infielder Nick Madrigal and Wichita State third baseman Alec Bohm figure to be the prime candidates at No. 4, depending on how the first three picks play out. Hostetler reiterated the team will set its player pick order before the Draft, helping the White Sox prepare in case someone unexpected drops a few slots.

Video: Draft Report: Nick Madrigal, College 2B/SS

As far as picking for organizational need, Hostetler doesn't expect that to happen until about Round 15.

2018 Draft order

"Early on from 1 to 15, we strictly base every pick on what the best player at that spot is," Hostetler said. "Now that being said, we've gotta be able to sign the player. There are financials that come into it that we have to make sure we're able to sign them. That plays a role in it.

"We don't look at it as in, well there's three shortstops, one at Winston, one at Kannapolis, one out in the Arizona League so we can't draft another one. If he's the best player, we're going to take him in the top 15 rounds.

"After that, [White Sox director of player development] Chris Getz and I will get together and talk about it and try to fill our teams," Hostetler said. "That's when a lot of the [college] seniors come in. It's harder to sign the high school players. So a lot of the seniors, some of the college juniors come into play at that point, and we'll start filling out our rosters."

Handling the $10,589,900 White Sox bonus pool becomes Hostetler's biggest job. But the White Sox won't purposely draft under slot with the $6,411,400 at No. 4 to achieve that goal.

"Specifically, it won't jeopardize the talent that we take," Hostetler said. "It would have to be a guy we feel is pretty comparable with the next guy."

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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