White Sox load up on arms on Day 2 of Draft

Right-hander Cannon has 'starter pedigree'; Ole Miss first baseman Elko possesses power

July 19th, 2022

CHICAGO -- Here are a few takeaways from the first two days of the White Sox 2022 Draft, covering the picks from Rounds 1 through 10.


White Sox director of amateur scouting Mike Shirley made pitching known as a priority during a pre-Draft Zoom. Judging by Chicago's first eight picks, he is a man of his word.

The White Sox took six pitchers, including five with collegiate experience. That list includes second-round selection Peyton Pallette from Arkansas, who was ranked No. 43 among MLB Pipeline's Top 250 Draft prospects, and third-round pick Jonathan Cannon from Georgia, who was ranked 60th on that list. Both hurlers are right-handed, and Shirley raved about picking Cannon during a Monday evening conference call.

“First off all the depth of this thing, we feel really good about,” Shirley said. “To secure Jonathan Cannon in the third round, our first pick of the day, he’s got weapons and resources to work with. It’s the perfect athletic frame, it’s the starter pedigree.

“It was a stretch of 40 or 50 innings where he hadn’t walked a hitter this year. Early on in his process, he was dominant. Four-pitch mix. It’s the sinker and two breaking balls, and the second breaking ball being that cutter. It’s dynamic and the changeup is kind of the icing on the cake with him. The pedigree. He maneuvered through those SEC lineups pretty well in his career.”

Shirley mentioned an over-slot deal for Cannon, who finished 9-4 with 68 strikeouts and 12 walks over 78 1/3 innings this past season. The slot value at pick No. 101 is $606,300.

“He’s the type of guy who can really make a difference,” Shirley said. “The ability to manipulate both sides of the plate or both-sides hitters, right-handed and left-handed hitters, that’s a dynamic piece to have.”


The elation over taking Noah Schultz, the 6-foot-9 southpaw, at No. 26 in the first round had only grown for Shirley by Day 2.

“I hope you guys are starting to understand how unique that kid is,” Shirley said.

Schultz was limited in what he could do for Oswego East High School this past season after being slowed by mono. But Schultz has made six appearances with the Illinois Valley Pistol Shrimps in the Prospect League, going 1-0 with a 0.93 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings. The 18-year-old is putting up these numbers against college players, Shirley points out.

“The tricky part was the mono. There were some bumps in the road for him,” Shirley said. “The kid is on top of his game, he gets mono, he gets shut down for like six weeks. Trying to get ramped back up, get ready for the season. Trying to get legs back underneath him and get his body healthy and the process right.

“It was not easy, his initial starts getting back on the mound. This is an elite prospect who garnered a lot of attention. Think of it as rehab starts and you have 40 radar guns. It wasn’t easy for him to go through that process and getting him up to speed. Geography played a benefit from us. He’s a hometown kid. It’s a great piece for us.”

Shirley spoke of a Draft mini-camp that will take place in Birmingham where all selections will be thoroughly evaluated, but he expects Schultz to throw somewhere for the organization this summer.

Schultz grew half an inch per month between eighth grade and sophomore year, but his growing pains ended as a sophomore. He has since put on 60 pounds by getting in the weight room.

“I’ve always been really big into stretching and mobility and flexibility,” Schultz said on Sunday. “That’s helped with my coordination, but there’s still a long way to go.”


Even if Tim Elko becomes a star with the White Sox, he probably won’t surpass the fame he earned at Ole Miss. The three-time captain propelled the team to a National Championship this season, with the first baseman hitting a single-season record 24 home runs and finishing second with 75 RBIs.

Work was done on Elko starting in the eighth round on Monday, and Chicago got him on board in the 10th.

“Oh, it’s a real bat. It’s got power,” Shirley said. “You watched him, that guy carried, he was the heart and soul of that team. He’s the captain over there.

“His makeup, how he cares about people, how he carried his team to a National Championship, kind of an icon in that Ole Miss area. We are getting a quality character guy and the bat is power. He’ll be a good piece for us.”


There’s a little bit of the $6,289,100 bonus pool possibly left for the White Sox after the first 10 rounds, according to Shirley.

“So, we can be aggressive with maybe a couple of pieces,” Shirley said. “The most you can give a guy is $125K, unless you have bonus pool money from your first 10 allotment. We do have some of that available to us. We'll be able to spend a bit more possibly on a couple of picks and we'll attack it that way.”