White Sox build depth behind plate in Draft
CHICAGO -- The White Sox have a number of talented catchers in their system. They just aren't sure if they have their future catcher in place.
So over the past three days of the 2015 MLB Draft, completed Wednesday evening, the White Sox added another three possibilities to the backstop equation.
"You can never go wrong adding at premium positions, and catching is one of them," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. "That's part of the reason you saw us snag a few along the way."
Casey Schroeder, a switch-hitting catcher from Coastal Carolina, was selected in the eighth round on Tuesday. The White Sox then added Seby Zavala from San Diego St. in the 12th and Jacob Cooper from Modesto Junior College in the 20th Wednesday. Cooper had a pre-Draft workout for the White Sox.
"Cooper has a terrific arm," White Sox assistant scouting director Nick Hostetler said. "Zavala has a pedigree from a major school and playing major competition. And then Schroeder, with his switch-hitting and athletic ability, they are all different, but at the same time, they all have their own unique quality that makes them interesting."
Brett Austin, the North Carolina State batterymate of Carlos Rodon, was taken in the fourth round of the 2014 Draft and was just selected for the South Atlantic League All-Star team from Class A Kannapolis. The White Sox also are high on Jhoandro Alfaro, who was an international signing last year from Colombia.
Mix in Kevan Smith, currently hitting .261 with a .346 on-base percentage for Triple-A Charlotte, and the White Sox have some options behind the plate behind Tyler Flowers and Geovany Soto at the big league level.
"I don't know the answer to that question," said Hahn when asked if they currently had their catcher of the future. "There are certainly catchers in the system prior to this Draft that we have high hopes for. To set a timetable on when they might arrive is a little premature."
"We are excited about Austin. We are excited about Alfaro. Kevan is more advanced," Hostetler said. "I think with those guys, it's a good start, and we need to continue to build."