White Sox sign top draft picks, but where will they fit?
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org June 12, 2013 11:35PM
Updated: July 15, 2013 7:22PM
The White Sox are sure they got two worthwhile players with their top two draft picks. They’re just not 100 percent sure where they’ll fit into their system.
Tim Anderson, their first-round pick who was signed to the slotted $2.164 million bonus for the No. 17 pick Wednesday, was drafted as a shortstop. But he hasn’t played as much there as his peers, missing much of his high school career because of basketball and an injury, and there are some who see him moving to the outfield.
Amateur scouting director Doug Laumann said Anderson will get every chance to prove himself at short, something Anderson can’t wait to do.
“It seems a lot of people doubt me as a shortstop,” said Anderson, who flew to Chicago to sign his deal. “I’m going to prove them wrong.”
Right-hander Tyler Danish has something to prove, too. He was drafted to be a starter — who uses a No. 55 pick on a bullpen arm? — but there are questions about his unorthodox mechanics, so there are those who wonder.
“We are going to hope that he’s a starter,’’ said Laumann, who fielded similar questions about Chris Sale when the Sox’ prized lefty was drafted in the first round.
Anderson, a 19-year-old sophomore from East Central Community College in Decatur, Miss., was the second shortstop taken in the draft. He led juco Division II (there are three divisions in junior college baseball) with a .495 average and 62 runs and was second with 41 stolen bases. He had 10 home runs, 18 doubles, 11 triples, 45 RBI, a .563 on-base percentage and an .864 slugging percentage.
Those stats are eye-poppers but won’t mean much when Anderson reports to Bristol, Va., to play for the Sox’ advanced rookie team in the Appalachian League. Anderson, who attended high school in Tuscaloosa, Ala., had signed a letter of intent to play at Alabama-Birmingham.
Danish, who played in one of Florida’s best conferences and was named high school player of the year in the state, also has a glossy résumé. He didn’t allow an earned run this season.
There was a divide among Sox brass on Danish, in part because of his odd arm action and short stride toward home. Laumann called him maybe the most intriguing prospect he has seen in 32 years of scouting.
“You talk to the industry, and you talk to a lot of people,’’ Laumann said. “Was Chris Sale a reliever or a starter? There were arm-action questions. There were durability questions. We had a belief that Sale could be a starter. I’m sure a lot of teams in the industry are saying the same thing about this guy.
“He’s a 6-foot right-hander. There’s arm action. But the kid really, really can pitch.’’
Danish is expected in Chicago this weekend and said he’ll leave for Bristol, Va., to join Anderson in the Appalachian League.
The Sox have reached agreements with their first 10 picks and are very close to having them under contract, sources said.
NOTES: Because of an expected heavy storm, the Sox announced the postponement of the scheduled game against the Blue Jays at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. Less than halfway through the season, the Sox have postponed four games, the most since five were scrubbed in 2008. No makeup date has been announced.
† Dylan Axelrod , who has allowed nine walks and 14 hits over his last two starts covering 91/3 innings, has been pushed back in the rotation. With the off day Thursday, Chris Sale will open a 10-game road trip in Houston on six days of rest instead of four. John Danks, Hector Santiago and Jose Quintana will follow Sale.