White Sox focus on collegians on Day 2
Beck first of nine pitchers taken with 14 selections
CHICAGO -- The White Sox shifted gears by focusing on college pitchers on Day 2 of the First-Year Player Draft, after selecting two high-school position players with their first two picks Monday.
Nine of the club's 14 selections in Rounds 2-15 were pitchers, including seven players from the college ranks. Only four of the day's 14 picks were high-school players.
"If we're going to break ties, if we're going to try to lean in one way, it would be with pitching," said Doug Laumann, White Sox director of amateur scouting. "Following up with what we did yesterday, we kind of knew we'd probably try to take some pitching."
First-round selection Courtney Hawkins pitched in addition to playing the outfield in high school, though he'll stick to the latter in the White Sox organization.
The White Sox selected their first hurler of the Draft in the second round with the 76th pick, grabbing Georgia Southern hard-throwing right-handed pitcher Chris Beck.
"Even though we were talking about a deal before the pick, I still wasn't really sure about it," Beck said. "Finally, when I heard my name called, it was a big relief, because I've had some stressful moments these last few days."
Seven of the next nine picks after Beck were college athletes, including third-round selection Joey DiMichele, a versatile second baseman from Arizona State.
He hit .368 his sophomore year and displayed consistency by hitting .336 his junior season, while adding seven triples and 12 steals.
"We felt like this is a really, really solid baseball player," Laumann said. "This is a guy that's polished, a guy that's played at a high level, been successful at a great program. Let's mix him in here with this younger group of guys."
Tenth-round pick Brandon Hardin was the first local player from Illinois selected. Hardin, a Pinckneyville, Ill., native, compiled a 1.03 ERA and eight saves at Delta State.
Following Hardin, three of the next four picks were also Illinois natives, including Michigan State starter Anthony Bucciferro, who went 6-4 with a 3.07 ERA for the Spartans this year. Both Hardin and Bucciferro are college seniors.
"We're not going to take high-school player after high-school player after high-school player," Laumann said. "At some point, you've got to mix those guys in."
Laumann valued signability on Day 2, and he said he believes the White Sox accomplished that goal.
"I'm very confident that all the picks we made are very signable and very signable very quickly," Laumann said. "Part of that is just the nature of the system now that you have to have a high level of confidence that you're going to get something done."
While the White Sox went local late in the day, they also favored the West Coast. Four players from California were selected by the White Sox on Tuesday, beginning with right-handed pitcher Brandon Brennan from Orange Coast College. Brennan was 11-1 with a 1.25 ERA this season.
Here's a breakdown of the White Sox picks from Rounds 2-15: 2nd Round, No. 76: Chris Beck, RHP, Georgia Southern
The White Sox took 6-foot-3 right-handed pitcher Chris Beck from Georgia Southern with the No. 76 pick in the second round of the First-Year Player Draft. Beck has three main pitches in a mid-90s fastball, a slider and a changeup.
Beck's had more losses (7) than wins (6) this season, but he's thrown 115 strikeouts to just 29 walks, with a 3.91 ERA. He posted a 3.23 ERA with 109 strikeouts his sophomore season.
3rd Round, No. 108: Joey DeMichele, 2B, Arizona State
The South Siders went with another college player in Round 3 with DeMichele. He won the Pac-10 batting crown with a .368 batting average his sophomore year, smashing a team-leading nine home runs.
He once again led the Sun Devils in batting average this season with a .336 hitting clip and six home runs. DeMichele's speed is evident with seven triples and a team-high 12 stolen bases this year.
4th Round, No. 141: Brandon Brennan, RHP, Orange Coast (Calif.)
Brennan, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound right-handed hurler, committed to play at the University of Houston. He was 11-1 with a 1.25 ERA this season. Hitters are batting just .197 against him.
He's displayed how deep he can pitch into games with one 10-inning performance and two other nine-inning outings this year.
5th Round, No. 171: Nick Basto, SS, Archbishop McCarthy HS (Fla.)
Shortstop Nick Basto from powerhouse Archbishop McCarthy helped lead the school to its third straight state baseball title this season.
He took to Twitter after being selected: "Thankyou to everyone for all the support love all you guys !!"
6th Round, No. 201: Kyle Hansen, RHP, St. John's
The towering 6-foot-8 pitcher is the brother of former Red Sox first round pick Craig Hansen. He went 5-5 with a 3.46 ERA this season in 15 starts.
7th Round, No. 231: Jose Barraza, C, Sunnyside HS (Calif.)
Barraza, a 6-foot-1, 220-pound catcher, had not yet committed to a college before the White Sox selected him. Sunnyside compiled only a 5-21 record when Barraza was a junior, but he still hit .400 with a .653 slugging percentage.
8th Round, No. 261: Zach Isler, RHP, Cincinnati
Just two picks after taking the 6-foot-8 Hansen, the White Sox grabbed another pitched with size in 6-foot-5 Bearcat Zach Isler. He appeared in 22 games with four starts this season, posting a 2.78 ERA and five saves.
9th Round, No. 291: Micah Johnson, 2B, Indiana
Elbow surgery limited Johnson, a preseason All-American, as a junior this season. He hit .335 with 19 stolen bases as a sophomore.
10th round, No. 321: Brandon Hardin, RHP, Delta State
Hardin, a Pinckneyville, Ill., native, excelled after moving from a starter his junior year to a reliever his senior year. He lowered his ERA from 5.77 as a junior to 1.03 this season, while recording eight saves.
11th Round, No. 351: Eric Jaffe, RHP, UCLA
Jaffe didn't throw much this season as a sophomore, but made his innings count. Jaffe didn't allow a run in eight appearances, though he only had three strikeouts and 10 walks in that span.
12th Round, No. 381: Zach Stoner, 1B, Boylan Catholic HS (Ill.)
The White Sox have been scouting the star catcher and first baseman for a while. Through 17 games of his senior season, Stoner was hitting .432.
13th Round, No. 411: Derek Thompson, LHP, John A. Logan College (Ill.)
The southpaw from Teutopolis, Ill., pitched his freshman year at John A. Logan College in Carterville, Ill. He won't blow his mid- to upper-80s fastball by hitters, but he still went 8-2 with a 1.93 ERA this season.
14th Round, No. 441: Anthony Bucciferro, RHP, Michigan State
Another Illinois prospect, the senior Spartan from Joliet, Ill., went 6-4 with a 3.07 ERA in 16 starts for Michigan State.
15th Round, No. 471: Jordan Guerrero, LHP, Moorpark HS (Calif.)
The 6-foot-3 Guerrero provides the White Sox another young arm with Major League size.
Rowan Kavner is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.