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Saturday, August 13, 2022

Chicago White Sox Preparing for No. 26 Pick in MLB Draft: ‘There Are Too Many Scenarios to Be Worked Out’

Mike Shirley is fascinated to see how the Major League Baseball draft goes.

The Chicago White Sox director of amateur scouting said during a Zoom interview on Friday, “In all my years of doing this when you’re out of pick eight or nine, I feel like you have no idea what’s going to happen. ” “In my history, I don’t think we’ve had to work on so many players who could possibly be at 26.”

That’s when the Sox have been kept for the first round of the draft, which starts on Sunday.

Will the Sox aim to satisfy a requirement, or are they targeting the best available player in that space?

“Without question it’s a combination,” Shirley said. “I think every major league team in every room is trying to figure out the pitching scenario, most importantly, and then you have to weigh the players in that position against that. At the end of the day, the preference can be a pitcher. But that doesn’t mean that the right position player is available that we won’t walk that road.

The strength of this year’s draft, according to Shirley, is the college’s position players.

“Especially over the top,” Shirley said. “Position players as a whole, even if you look at your board like you are building a board nonstop, there are a lot of players that we really like in this draft.

“It’s totally a light pitching draft, and I think we’re all trying to figure out what pitching looks like.”

Shirley is in her third season in the role after being promoted in September 2019. Prior to this, he was the team’s Assistant Scouting Director after serving as a cross checker from 2010-2018. He was a full-time field scout in the Midwest from 2004–09, joining the Sox as a part-time field scout prior to the 2000 season.

Two years ago, the Sox selected pitcher Garrett Crockett at No. Crockett joined the major-league squad that September and was a valuable reliever the previous season. He has been ruled out this season following Tommy John’s surgery in Spring Training.

Last year, the Sox drafted shortstop Colson Montgomery with the 22nd pick. Montgomery entered Friday with a 48-game on-base streak. He reached all 16 games safely with Class A Winston-Salem after being promoted from Class A Kannapolis on June 24.

“Crochet is an extreme talent,” Shirley said. “We are very pleased with what Garrett is going to provide us, what he has provided, what he will continue to provide. (2020 second-round pick) Jared Kelly has significant upside and will be a good starter for us He is beginning to figure out his process.

“I really believe in Colson. And a lot of people thought we were taking a risk with Colson, but knowing that person, the potential, the projection, I think he showed us, at least himself. Ko, what was Colson. I think the group did a great job understanding Colson. We worked very hard to understand Colson. And I think we got it right at this point. A lot of things can change , but Colson is doing certain things there. I think he’s the one.”

The Sox is going through the possibilities for Sunday.

“We just left the room and (is) what it might look like, who could be, you don’t expect the availability of some players,” Shirley said. “For example, (it’s a) light pitching draft, what if the pitchers have a run on it? A position player you didn’t think would be there, what if he is available?

“A lot of scenarios are being worked out.”

Injury updates on Eloy Jimenez and Yasmani Grandla

Eloy Jiménez was not in the starting lineup for the second game in a row as he recovered from a stiffness in his right leg.

“I feel better now than (Thursday),” Jimenez said ahead of Friday’s game against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. “Same soreness (which caused his rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte to be put on hold). But now I’m going to recover faster because I feel better on my second day. I’m already swinging And when it happened the first time (in Charlotte), I couldn’t swing on the first day or even the second day. And (Friday), I feel much better.”

Manager Tony La Russa said it was unlikely Jimenez would play this weekend.

“I don’t see it,” said La Russa. “You come to base, you have to run. I saw him hitting the cages. I don’t think you can push it. Unless he’s pinching, you never know. Loaded with two outs chairs.”

Catcher Yasmani Grandal (lower back cramp) is 8-for-17 with nine walks in six rehab games for a home run, four RBIs and Double-A between Birmingham and Charlotte.

“He’s taking his bat,” said La Russa. “He’s starting to catch something. I don’t know if they’ve given him a target date to come back, but it’s a good sign he’s playing.”


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