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White Sox prepping for important MLB Draft

Hahn looks to stockpile talent as club holds No. 4 pick
MLB.com @scottmerkin

KANSAS CITY -- The White Sox have the fourth pick overall in this year's MLB Draft, and they have the sixth highest bonus pool at $10,589,900. Teams were notified on Wednesday of their bonus pools and international spending limits.

An ongoing goal for the club's rebuild becomes increasing the critical mass of core talent. The '17 Draft played a part in fulfilling that goal via the addition of third baseman Jake Burger and first baseman Gavin Sheet. But the Draft takes on more importance in '18 with the plethora of '17 in-season trades for prospects most likely not repeating itself this year.

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KANSAS CITY -- The White Sox have the fourth pick overall in this year's MLB Draft, and they have the sixth highest bonus pool at $10,589,900. Teams were notified on Wednesday of their bonus pools and international spending limits.

An ongoing goal for the club's rebuild becomes increasing the critical mass of core talent. The '17 Draft played a part in fulfilling that goal via the addition of third baseman Jake Burger and first baseman Gavin Sheet. But the Draft takes on more importance in '18 with the plethora of '17 in-season trades for prospects most likely not repeating itself this year.

View Full Game Coverage

"Talent acquisition will probably slow over the course of the next 12 months or over the course of the next sixth months," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. "It's not going to be anything close to the pace it was last season, but one very important element is going to be the 2018 Draft.

"It's a strong draft year. We know we are going to get a real good player at four. [White Sox director of amateur scouting] Nick [Hostetler] and his guys feel really good about the player they think we are going to get in the second round as well. When you look at it without any names attached to specific teams and the depth and breadth of this pool, it's a good year to have a sizeable bonus chunk like we do."

During a recent interview, Hostetler described himself as maybe a little anxious but "never nervous" with the Draft approaching on June 4-6. Part of that calmness comes from Hostetler's confidence in his scouting staff including Midwest crosschecker Garrett Guest and national crosscheckers Mike Shirley and Nathan Durst, who are blanketing the country looking at potential picks.

Hostetler didn't have an exact number of players being considered by the team at No. 4, a slot with a pick value of $6,411,400. He did have an April target of paring down that group.

"We are trying to get us into a spot where come mid-April we are evaluating whatever the number might be, five or six guys who fit there at our pick for four," Hostetler said. "The big thing right now is getting the looks and accumulating the list to go back on prior to that mid-April date, and then come mid-April start cutting it down a little bit more so we can focus on the right guys the rest of the way."

Finding the best player available seems to be the Draft mantra, especially for a rebuilding team such as the White Sox. Hostetler reiterated players have to fit the rebuild big picture as well.

"Picking the right player and managing your pool are probably the two most important things for a scouting director to do," Hostetler said. "You can make an impact, yes, with the first pick.

"But the pool is really more important than the actual number of picks you have. It gives you some flexibility. You are able to get creative with it, and put yourself in position where you are able to add depth and quality to your draft as well as some quantity."

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.

Chicago White Sox