White Sox focused on adding depth in '18 Draft

Director of amateur scouting Hostetler feels good about club's prep

May 27th, 2018

CHICAGO -- White Sox director of amateur scouting Nick Hostetler already knows who he wants to select with the team's top pick at No. 4 when the 2018 MLB Draft begins today.
"Yeah, I do," said Hostetler, who is now stationed in Chicago leading up to the Draft. "I have a pretty good feel on who I would like to take. I have a pretty good feel on everybody as a whole. All of our staff, [general manager] Rick [Hahn], [executive vice president] Kenny [Williams], [assistant general manager] Jeremy [Haber], [director of player development Chris Getz], guys who have seen players.
"I feel pretty good about where we are at with it. The way I look at this is our order, what our order is. It's only four picks. So I have a pretty good feel of what our order is going to be barring anything crazy happening in the next 10 days. I'm pretty confident."
:: 2018 Draft coverage ::
The 2018 Draft will take place today through Wednesday, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com today at 5 p.m. CT. MLB Network will broadcast the first 43 picks (Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A), while MLB.com will stream all 78 picks on Day 1. MLB.com will also provide live pick-by-pick coverage of Rounds 3-10 on Day 2, with a preview show beginning at 11:30 a.m. CT. Then, Rounds 11-40 can be heard live on MLB.com on Day 3, beginning at 11 a.m. CT.
Go to MLB.com/Draft to see the Top 200 Prospects list, projected top picks from MLB Pipeline analysts Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo, the complete order of selection and more. And follow @MLBDraft on Twitter to see what Draft hopefuls, clubs and experts are saying.
Here's how the Draft is shaping up for the White Sox, whose first selection is the fourth overall pick.
In about 50 words
If the White Sox didn't post a 21-21 record over the final 42 games of the 2017 season, they might be looking at the No. 1 pick. Some still view this No. 4 pick as a can't-miss for Chicago in Year 2 of the organization's rebuild, and Hostetler certainly wants to find a high-impact player with this selection, but he has a broader focus of also adding key players and depth throughout the rest of the Draft.
The scoop
There's no focus on pitcher or position player at No. 4. The best player available will be the White Sox choice when the time comes.
"Pitcher or hitter is irrelevant at this point. Position is irrelevant at this point," Hostetler said. "Doesn't matter if we have it in the big leagues. Doesn't matter if we have a wealth in the Minors. Doesn't matter if we just drafted it. We are going to take the best guy regardless of position."
First-round buzz
Hostetler indicated their list at No. 4 is down to six, maybe seven, with that seventh player coming into play if something unexpected plays out before the fourth pick. Callis has the White Sox taking right-handed pitcher Brady Singer out of Florida in his last mock draft, but don't overlook Oregon St. infielder Nick Madrigal, Auburn right-hander Casey Mize, Georgia Tech catcher Joey Bart, Wichita State third baseman Alec Bohm and South Alabama outfielder Travis Swaggerty among the other possibilities.

Money matters
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team has an allotted bonus pool equal to the sum of the values of that club's selections in the first 10 rounds of the Draft. The more picks a team has, and the earlier it picks, the larger the pool. The signing bonuses for a team's selections in the first 10 rounds, plus any bonus greater than $125,000 for a player taken after the 10th round, will apply toward the bonus-pool total.
Any team going up to 5 percent over its allotted pool will be taxed at a 75-percent rate on the overage. A team that overspends by 5-10 percent gets a 75-percent tax plus the loss of a first-round pick. A team that goes 10-15 percent over its pool amount will be hit with a 100-percent penalty on the overage and the loss of a first- and second-round pick. Any overage of 15 percent or more gets a 100-percent tax plus the loss of first-round picks in the next two Drafts.
This year, the White Sox have a pool of $10,589,900 to spend in the first 10 rounds, including $6,411,400 to spend on their first selection.
Shopping list
Thanks to the talent acquisition stage of the rebuild, the White Sox have viable big league prospects at every position. They look very deep in starting pitching with the likes of , and soon joining and . But depth remains a key in the rebuild, which will be one of the focuses of the Draft across the board.
• White Sox Top 30 prospects
Trend watch
Courtney Hawkins' run with the White Sox came to an end this season when he was released to make room for 's return to Double-A Birmingham. Since 2000, Hawkins represents the lone high-school position player taken by the White Sox with their first pick. There have been two high-school players selected overall by the team with that first pick (right-hander Kris Honel, 2001). The White Sox almost certainly will go collegiate at No. 4, although Hostetler acknowledged one high-school player is in the mix.
"That's the Draft up top. Most of them are going to go college," Hostetler said. "I wouldn't be totally shocked if one high-school guy was top 5, but I would be really shocked if two were."
Recent Draft history
Rising fast
Ian Hamilton was taken in the 11th round of the 2016 Draft after picking up 28 saves for Washington State University. The right-hander hasn't slowed down since joining the White Sox, recording 22 saves and a 2.72 ERA over parts of three Minor League seasons. Hamilton has seven saves, a 1.50 ERA and 26 strikeouts against eight walks over 18 innings in this season entering Sunday, making him a strong candidate to join the South Siders later this season.
Cinderella story
As a 28th-round selection in the 2017 Draft, Laz Rivera was targeted more as an infield-depth piece in the White Sox system. But the 23-year-old has a .327 average and .876 OPS over 91 career games between the Arizona Rookie League squad and Class A Kannapolis entering Sunday since being picked last year. Rivera is hitting .361 with six homers, 10 doubles and 20 RBIs this season for the Intimidators, earning strong reviews from those who have watched him.
In the show
The offensive potential of (first round, 2013) was on display during Saturday's 8-4 victory over the Tigers, as the shortstop hit two home runs and drove in four. Left-hander (third round, '14) has been almost unhittable out of the White Sox bullpen, while closer Nate Jones (fifth round, '07) serves as the elder statesman of the team. Rodon (No. 3 overall, '14) is expected back soon from his Minor League injury rehab assignment, while , Chris Beck, , and are a few more drafted by the South Siders who have contributed this season.

The White Sox recent top picks
2017: Jake Burger, 3B, injured/Class A Kannapolis
2016: Zack Collins, C, Double-A Birmingham
2015:, RHP, Triple-A Charlotte
2014: Carlos Rodon, LHP, injury rehab/White Sox 
2013: Tim Anderson, SS, White Sox
2012: Courtney Hawkins, OF, Released