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Sox thrilled after 'oddest' Draft in 2 decades

Director of amateur scouting Hostetler says event unfolded unlike any other in his career
@scottmerkin
June 5, 2019

CHICAGO -- White Sox director of amateur scouting Nick Hostetler represented the front office Wednesday when speaking of the excitement over the players brought to the organization over the past three days of the 2019 MLB Draft. Of course, there’s always excitement after the Draft is completed. But this year’s

CHICAGO -- White Sox director of amateur scouting Nick Hostetler represented the front office Wednesday when speaking of the excitement over the players brought to the organization over the past three days of the 2019 MLB Draft.

Of course, there’s always excitement after the Draft is completed. But this year’s work had a different feel to Hostetler based on the White Sox approach.

“This is my 20th year in scouting, and this is probably the oddest draft I’ve ever been a part of just from what we did and how we decided to manage our pool,” Hostetler said. “It was definitely a little bit different from anything I’ve ever been a part of in the past.

“We were very happy with the options that were presented to us, but at the same time, we had to be flexible and we had to make some calls on the fly -- and we did very well as an overall staff. I don’t think many of us have ever been a part of that, but it was fun.”

University of California first baseman Andrew Vaughn, quite possibly the most elite bat in the Draft, was taken at No. 3 overall by the White Sox. With Vaughn penciled in at three or four pre-Draft, he figures to eventually come in around his slot value of $7,221,200.

Draft Tracker

But right-handed pitchers Matthew Thompson and Andrew Dalquist, both high school hurlers, and high school outfielder James Beard, who were selected rounds two through four, should sign over slot. So the White Sox went with more advanced senior selections from rounds five through 10 to balance out their overall pool of $11,565,500.

“What we did in picks one through four really affected the rest of the second day in what we did five to 10,” Hostetler said. “It’s the first time I’ve ever been a part of something like that, where you have to essentially work it to make sure you have the money to sign certain players. It was just odd and different.”

Sox take mix of HS, college talent on Day 2

Here’s a look at a few other tidbits from the White Sox Draft, which featured 23 pitchers taken (18 right-handers and five left-handers), eight outfielders, five infielders and four catchers. The White sox took 30 collegiate players and 10 from high school.

Draft theme

Beyond adding pitching, the White Sox got younger.

“It was something we had talked about,” Hostetler said. “We talked about it for a long time here. We are trying to space this thing out to give us each level to have prospects we feel very excited about.”

Vaughn story

On a Monday in early May, Hostetler and assistant scouting director Mike Shirley met with Vaughn at a classroom on the Cal campus.

“Meeting with him was fun, because of how relaxed and low-key he is,” Hostetler said. “Mellow and chill as can be. He’s a normal dude.”

Best athlete

This honor goes to Beard. In fact, some pundits listed Beard as the fastest prospect in the Draft.

Biggest surprise still there

It was Dalquist, who the White Sox were shocked to see available in the third round.

Sleeper

Hostetler went with catcher Victor Torres, taken in the 11th round out of the International Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico, and Misael Gonzalez Acosta, an outfielder selected in the 12th round from the Leadership Christian Academy, also in Puerto Rico. Hostetler added outfielder Cameron Simmons, taken in the 20th round from Virginia, and third baseman DJ Gladney in the 16th round from Illiana Christian High School, located 40 minutes from Guaranteed Rate Field.

ACE is the place

Gladney was part of the White Sox Amateur City Elite youth baseball program.

“We’ve known DJ for a while with the ACE program, but he showed very well at our workout,” Hostetler said. “He showed us power we had not seen a lot of in the past.”

What it means to be drafted

“It means everything. Really a dream come true.” -- Beard, on being selected in the fourth round

“Being taken third overall by the Sox is an unbelievable feeling. I mean I really can’t describe it. It’s all I’ve ever dreamed of. It’s the start of a new chapter and I’m ready to embark my way to get to Chicago.” -- Vaughn, on being the No. 3 pick

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.