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White Sox stay within college ranks to fulfill needs

MLB.com @scottmerkin

CHICAGO -- The first two days of the 2016 MLB Draft went so well for the White Sox that their only complaint was getting "cherry-picked" a couple of times on a guy in the ninth round, according to director of amateur scouting Nick Hostetler.

"Otherwise, we were really pleased with the bats we were able to add," said Hostetler, speaking Friday night in the U.S. Cellular Field pressbox. "We set out with a plan, and that was to add more true baseball players to the organization. There's no question we did that."

CHICAGO -- The first two days of the 2016 MLB Draft went so well for the White Sox that their only complaint was getting "cherry-picked" a couple of times on a guy in the ninth round, according to director of amateur scouting Nick Hostetler.

"Otherwise, we were really pleased with the bats we were able to add," said Hostetler, speaking Friday night in the U.S. Cellular Field pressbox. "We set out with a plan, and that was to add more true baseball players to the organization. There's no question we did that."

Sox elated to get Collins at No. 10

Here's a look at the White Sox Day 2 picks.

Round 3 (86th overall), Alex Call, OF, Ball State University
The White Sox went with their second position player but fourth straight college player by taking Call with the first pick on Day 1. The junior outfielder, who hits and throws right-handed, posted a career .425 on-base percentage over three seasons with Ball State, including a career-best .443 in 2016. He hit .358 with 67 runs scored, 13 home runs and 44 RBIs this past season.

Call impresses with drive, confidence

In a '15 interview with College Baseball Daily, Call said that if not for baseball, he would be at Wisconsin studying to be an engineer. There was no engineering program at Ball State, so he went into entrepreneurial management and received his degree in three years. Call is from River Falls, Wis., and his mother, Katy, played volleyball at Bethel College.

Video: Draft 2016: White Sox draft OF Alex Call No. 86

"Just a terrific kid. Outstanding makeup. Just a gamer," Hostetler said. "Played in a very good outfield in the Cape Cod [League] with Kyle Lewis and Ronnie Dawson as well. He's battle-tested. He draws walks, gets on base. He's going to be an asset for us."

:: Complete 2016 Draft coverage ::

Round 4 (116th overall), Jameson Fisher, OF, SE Louisiana University
The left-handed-hitting Fisher was taken in the 24th round out of Zachary High School in Louisiana by the Cubs in the 2012 Draft. He opted for college and missed all of the '15 season due to surgery to fix a torn labrum in his right shoulder.

Fisher's comeback in 2016 has been a strong one, with a .424 average, .558 on-base percentage and .692 slugging percentage. Fisher knocked out 11 home runs, drove in 66 runs and swiped 17 bases, finishing with 105 walks and 83 strikeouts in his career.

"We were actually debating about where to announce him at catcher, outfielder or first base," Hostetler said. "Probably let him try a little bit of all of them, maybe even catch a little bit.

"It was kind of funny, because to start the day, Call and Fisher were our No. 1 and No. 2 guys on the board, and we got them both. We're extremely excited. I'm not going to think that this is going to happen every year like that, but I can't be happier to add those two guys to the system."

Round 5 (146th overall), Jimmy Lambert, RHP, Fresno State
Lambert took off in his junior season for the Bulldogs, posting a 10-2 record with a 3.13 ERA in his lone year spent exclusively as a starter. Lambert also fanned 79 and walked 19 over 97 2/3 innings. According to his Fresno State athletic bio, Lambert also enjoys golfing and wakeboarding in his free time.

"There's no question he's going to be a starter," Hostetler said. "Three-pitch mix. Throws strikes, pounds the zone. Does a terrific job of throwing strikes. We project him as a mid-rotation guy."

Video: KC@CWS: Scouting Director, Hostetler, talks Draft

Round 6 (176th overall), Luis Curbelo, SS, Cocoa High School, Florida
Curbelo checks in at 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, and he initially came from the Puerto Rican Baseball Academy, which is the same academy that produced Houston shortstop Carlos Correa.

"They are different players," said a smiling Hostetler. "He's a guy I personally had my eye on since last fall. Saw him play a lot last fall and loved him. We followed him throughout the year, so this year we were kind of excited to get him."

Video: Draft Report: Luis Curbelo, high school shortstop

The 18-year-old is committed to the University of Miami after he moved to Cocoa High school for his senior year. The 104th-ranked prospect per MLBPipeline.com will start at shortstop, but eventually could move to a corner spot.

Round 7 (206th overall), Bernardo Flores, LHP, USC
The 6-foot-4, 170-pound left-hander had a rough year for the Trojans in 2016, finishing with a 6.70 ERA over 41 2/3 innings. For his career at USC, Torres posted a 5.34 ERA with 85 strikeouts and 35 walks in 91 innings. But the White Sox like his raw stuff.

"A few little things mechanically we think we can fix and it's going to help him kind of harness that command," Hostetler said. "It's top of the Draft, stuff-wise. Once we get that command from the left side, he'll be OK."

Round 8 (236th overall), Nathan Nolan, C, St. Mary's College
Reporters and scouts who have watched Nolan paint him as a strong defensive catcher, with an outstanding throwing arm and as a player who can command a staff. Nolan hit .261 this past season with a .360 on-base percentage, 17 doubles, nine homers and 36 RBIs.

"Great catch-and-throw guy, plus-plus catch-and-throw guy," Hostetler said. "Has some big raw power. Good raw power to the opposite field."

Round 9 (266th overall), Max Dutto, SS, Menlo College
Dutto's numbers weren't overwhelming during three years at California, and he finished up at Menlo this season. While not broadly built at 6-feet, 205 pounds, Dutto looked great at the White Sox pre-Draft workout and was hitting the ball all over the field.

"He's versatile. He can play every spot on the dirt, play the outfield," Hostetler said. "He can stay at shortstop though."

Round 10 (296th overall), Zach Remillard, 3B, Coastal Carolina
Zach's brother, Will, was drafted by the Cubs in 2013 and currently plays in their organization. The younger Remillard hit .348 with a .399 on-base percentage and 18 homers and 67 RBIs this past season.

"He has a big swing with some pull power, but the arm is plus from third base," Hostetler said. "He's a really good kid, he's a lot of fun. Our area scout really liked him."

The Draft concludes on Saturday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at 11 a.m. CT.

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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