CHICAGO -- The 2017 MLB Draft for the White Sox, which concluded Wednesday, was not one based on selecting for a specific position need.It also wasn't one totally built on the organization's ongoing rebuild, although the rebuild certainly would be enhanced by a second straight solid Draft under scouting director
CHICAGO -- The 2017 MLB Draft for the White Sox, which concluded Wednesday, was not one based on selecting for a specific position need.
It also wasn't one totally built on the organization's ongoing rebuild, although the rebuild certainly would be enhanced by a second straight solid Draft under scouting director Nick Hostetler. But a theme certainly existed behind these picks, with a focus on power bats and good offensive approaches.
:: 2017 MLB Draft coverage ::
Those players represent a change under general manager Rick Hahn, with a move away from the pure athletes to the more polished baseball players.
"I don't know if it's fair to say change in philosophy," Hahn said. "We want to have guys who we project will have an impact in Chicago and fit a certain profile both offensively as well as ideally defensively and how we want the game played.
"We are looking for athletic players like everybody in the game. But certainly those who come with a level of acumen and have a track record of success and are able to bring certain elements to the game we've been lacking for the last several years around here."
In total, the White Sox selected 22 pitchers (14 right-handers, eight left-handers), two catchers, nine infielders and seven outfielders. They picked 34 collegiate players and six from the high school level.
Through the first 30 rounds, eighth-rounder Sam Abbott stood as the only high school pick. He was an All-State water polo player and a projectable baseball player.
"There was a time in the third round where we were targeting a high school guy and got picked," Hostetler said. "We got picked three different times on high school players."
First-round pick Jake Burger, a third baseman from Missouri State, figures to be part of the first big wave of White Sox prospects coming in the next year or year and a half. He's also an example of the power emphasis, along with the low-strikeout, high-walk philosophy targeted the last two years.
"You will see what's more important to us is understanding of the strike zone and doing damage on pitches within the zone," Hahn said. "Trying the best to lay off pitches out of the zone.
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"Not every pick is going to be exactly on the screws for all regards. You try to find enough guys that have a balanced skillset and a level of performance and a level of enthusiasm from scouts in that room that they project that player continuing to be or becoming a player that we feel can have success in Chicago."
Hostetler joked about any scouting director not happy with their Draft probably should be fired the next day. But he seemed genuinely pleased with his second class at the helm.
"We've added high-impact, power middle-of-the-order bats that really control the strike zone," said Hostetler, who pointed to 11th-round pick Will Kincanon and 14th-round pick Alex Destino as possible standouts from Wednesday. "That was our key. We started adding some guys who can run today and we had some big power arms."
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.