CHICAGO -- White Sox, hello.That might have been the reaction from Chance King when the team made the right-handed hurler its 39th-round selection in the 2017 MLB Draft on Wednesday evening. King's father just happens to be legendary broadcaster Larry King."This will be one of the thrills of my life,"
CHICAGO -- White Sox, hello.
That might have been the reaction from Chance King when the team made the right-handed hurler its 39th-round selection in the 2017 MLB Draft on Wednesday evening. King's father just happens to be legendary broadcaster Larry King.
"This will be one of the thrills of my life," said Larry King during a phone interview Wednesday. "It's got to be a thrill to him."
:: 2017 MLB Draft coverage ::
King's selection out of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., was not the lone White Sox name of note from the third and final day of the Draft.
• White Sox emphasize polished hitters in Draft
Riley Crean, the son of one-time Indiana University basketball coach Tom Crean and nephew of University of Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh and Baltimore Ravens head football coach John Harbaugh, was chosen in the 35th round. The 6-for-3, 190-pound hurler out of Bloomington (Ind.) High School North is committed to be a Hoosier and looks to be honoring that collegiate commitment.
But Crean's fastball, which sits 86-to-90 mph, and good 78-mph breaking ball certainly interested the White Sox.
"There's a lot of projection on Riley," White Sox director of amateur scouting Nick Hostetler said. "Tom has become a close friend of mine, and we've talked in detail about it. Riley is going to go to school, but he was also on our Area Code team.
"The breaking ball shows us, because how hard he throws it, there's projection with the fastball. It was an exciting time. I had a chance to call him, and they sent me a video they had taken. It pulls at my heartstrings to watch a kid get drafted, the excitement of the family and the parents and everybody."
Angelo Smith, a left-handed hurler taken in the 40th round out of Richards High School located in a south suburb of Chicago, played for the White Sox Amateur City Elite youth baseball program. Dylan Horvitz, a catcher from New Trier High School located in a northern suburb of Chicago, was selected in the 38th round. Both figure to go to college.
"It's always good to get a local kid and give them the notoriety of having a solid successful high school career," Hostetler said. "We like to do those things for local kids at certain parts of the Draft."
King's youngest son, Cannon, a senior who plays for Beverly Hills High School, could draw some Draft interest in 2018. Chance still was weighing his college options, which could include junior college before eventually transferring to USC.
Dennis Gilbert, the special assistant to White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and colleague and friend of Larry King, saw the younger King play baseball and recommended him to White Sox scouts. That recommendation helped produce Chance's Draft honor.
"He was still unsure of his college commitment today when I talked to Chance, but he was excited to be drafted," Hostetler said. "He's a tall, skinny projectable right-handed pitcher."
"I don't know what he will do with this," the elder King said. "He will talk to them. I'm not going to tell him what to do. It's his life. College is important. He has a lot of ability. He loves the game. He's a gamer. He's a great kid. It was a great thrill to have this happen. I'm very proud of him."
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.