The 2016 MLB Draft begins at 6 p.m. CT Thursday on MLB Network, and shortly after that we’ll finally know which prospects will be the newest additions to the farm system when the White Sox draft at No. 10 and No. 26 of the first round. So let’s take one final look at what we know heading into Thursday night’s first round.
ESPN.com’s Keith Law and Baseball America’s John Manuel both have the White Sox selecting University of Miami catcher Zack Collins with the No. 10 pick, while MLB.com’s Jim Callis has them taking University of Louisville outfielder (and South side native) Corey Ray. Both Law and Manuel have Ray going at No. 5.
At 26, which is obviously much harder to predict (not that it’s easy to predict who is going at 10), Law and Callis are in agreement that the White Sox will take high school shortstop Gavin Lux, while Manuel has them on Kent State left-hander Eric Lauer.
What do we know about these guys?
Friend of the site Mauricio Rubio of 2080 Baseball was on The Catbird Speaks Sunday and talked about a number of prospects, including the guys mentioned in the aforementioned mocks. He noted Collins as a possibility at No. 10 and said he likes that pick for the White Sox.
“At 10, the White Sox are going to be looking to secure someone like Zack Collins, who they believe has a high floor and a high probability of contributing soon,” Rubio said. “Collins has fringy defensive ability at catcher, and it doesn’t look like he’s going to stick there. But he’s got some bat-to-ball ability and he’s got some power. If you’ve got him under slot and at a deal that allows you to move some money around, that’s what you want to do.”
Callis’ prediction that Ray goes to the White Sox at No. 10 seems a minority opinion, as most mocks have him going earlier, including both Law and Manuel putting him with the Brewers at No. 5. Law, in fact, has Ray as his No. 1-ranked prospect, writing that he has a high floor of an everyday left fielder. However, Rubio has some questions, noting that the fact that his arm makes it unlikely he can play center field, and he has a left fielder’s profile with questionable power production.
Ray, of course, would be a sentimental favorite if drafted, as a South side native who graduated from the White Sox ACES program, which helps teach baseball to inner-city kids.
As for Lux, there’s some talk about him moving up to the mid-first round, possibly as high as where the White Sox make their first pick at No. 10. When asked if he thought that was a possibility, Rubio said that might be a little aggressive.
“This is a kid who’s got a lot of hand-eye coordination, very fast, professional hands at short,” Rubio said. “I think he probably moves over to second base in the long term, but he’s got some hitter-ish ability, contact skills, and he’s shown a lot of growth — which is expected but always nice to see — from last year to this year.
“I think Lux at 10 is very aggressive. I think Lux at 26 is aggressive, but I think it would be the good kind of aggressive, just considering his profile.”
In multiple previous mocks, the White Sox had been linked to Dakota Hudson, a right-hander out of Mississippi State. He’s largely considered the top college arm in the draft after Florida’s A.J. Puk, who might go No. 1 overall. Law has Hudson going at No. 9 to Detroit, Manuel has him at No. 15 to Minnesota, and Callis has him at No. 16 to the Angels.
Rubio: “He’s 6-foot-5, and he’s got big stuff, too. I think that would work out really well.”
Lauer, a lefty who I mentioned previously as Manuel has the White Sox taking him at No. 26, is pegged for Baltimore at No. 27 by Law, and for the Mets at No. 31 by Mayo.
Rubio: “(Lauer) would be a guy who would be a fast mover through their system.”
Lead Photo Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports