White Sox open Day 2 with Erwin in 4th round
Chicago follows in fifth with another college arm in Rice's Stephens
CHICAGO -- A long wait ended for the White Sox in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft sometime around 1 p.m. CT Tuesday afternoon.
After taking right-handed pitcher Carson Fulmer out of Vanderbilt with the eighth pick overall Monday night, the White Sox didn't select again until No. 112 because they had no second- or third-round selection due to the free-agent deals agreed upon with closer David Robertson and left fielder Melky Cabrera. Here is a look at the White Sox selections, from Rounds 4 to 6.
Round 4: LHP Zack Erwin, Clemson
Erwin posted a 7-4 record with a 3.04 ERA over 17 appearances this season, of which 16 were starts. He struck out 92, walked 16 and held opponents to a .257 batting average. This performance came after a 4-3 record with a 4.26 ERA and two saves for Clemson in 2014, where Erwin made seven starts out of his 26 appearances.
The hurler was targeted by the White Sox, even with the 104-pick break from their selection of Fulmer. He went to Duluth High School in Georgia, but the 21-year-old was born in Chicago. Erwin lettered three times in baseball and three times in basketball in high school.
"He was a premium left-handed pitcher in a major conference in a Draft that, for us, was deep in it," said White Sox assistant scouting director Nick Hostetler of Erwin. "He's pretty polished. He's going to be able to pitch, compete, move the ball in and out.
"We are going to have to deal with a few little things mechanically. Stand him up and get him extended a little bit more, but he has a chance to move quickly."
Round 5: RHP Jordan Stephens, Rice
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound redshirt junior was a 2014 preseason All-Conference USA honoree for this storied collegiate program, but he was shut down after three weeks and underwent Tommy John surgery in March of that season. Stephens bounced back in 2015 to post a 6-5 record with a 3.17 ERA over 17 appearances and 11 starts. He struck out 75, walked 17 and held opponents to a .229 average in 59 2/3 innings.
In 2013, Stephens had 100 strikeouts in 118 2/3 innings to go with a 2.43 ERA. He showed a little humor on Tuesday by tweeting out the following on his @Stephens27Rice Twitter account.
"Everyone is either at work, or going to work soon. And I'm stuck here waiting to find out if I have a job," read the Tweet.
"They did a great job at Rice of taking care of him: [throwing] three innings, two innings, building him back up," Hostetler said. "I was excited about it. I don't know if he would have been there in the fifth round if he wouldn't have had the Tommy John."
Round 6: 1B Corey Zangari, Carl Albert (Okla.) High School
The right-handed hitter and thrower became the first high school pick of the White Sox and their first position player selected. He hit .490 for Carl Albert last season, and of his 48 hits, 27 went for extra bases. That total includes 19 homers and seven doubles.
Zangari also finished 2-1 with a 6.50 ERA over six pitching appearances. In fact, Zangari's profile picture on his Twitter page is of him on the mound, but the Oklahoma St. commit will be hitting for the White Sox.
"I can't tell you there's anybody in this draft with more right-handed power," said Hostetler of Zangari, who also caught in high school. "This power is something special. If we can get the timing down, it's got a chance to be big."
The Draft concludes on Wednesday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at 11 a.m. CT.