2022 MLB draft: Options for the Chicago White Sox

The 2022 MLB Draft is coming up this weekend, and there are many different ways the Chicago White Sox could go, so who should they draft at 26?

We have hit the point in the MLB season where the focus shifts to the All-Star Week and the draft as teams get a break mid-season. This year’s draft will be an interesting one for the Chicago White Sox as they are set to pick at No. 26 overall following a AL Central title last year.

With a farm system that needs rebuilding, who should the White Sox look at for the pick? We have some options below.

Kumar Rocker

Kumar Rocker is easily one of the most interesting names currently in the draft. Last year’s tenth pick in the draft by the Mets obviously did not end up with the team, and instead played in the Frontier League, so where will be drafted this year?

With less than a week until the MLB Draft, @keithlaw gives his latest mock draft:
2️⃣: @Dbacks, Druw Jones
9️⃣: @Royals, Elijah Green
1️⃣1️⃣: @Mets, Jace Jung
2️⃣4️⃣: @RedSox, Kumar Rocker
https://t.co/QUeJv0U1MP

He won’t go as high as the tenth pick this year, many people believe he will be selected in the second half of the first round, but no one can figure out exactly where. His stats in the Frontier League are skewed because he is better than pretty much all of his competition, but they are still incredibly impressive. Rumors have been circling that Rocker could be called up earlier than the other players drafted and used as a reliever, similar to what the Chicago White Sox have done with both Garret Crochet and Chris Sale.

Stats:

Frontier League = (1-0) 1.35 ERA 20 Innings 32 K’s

College = (28-10) 2.89 ERA 236 Innings 321 K’s

Cade Horton

Horton out of Oklahoma is an interesting prospect. He missed all of 2021 due to Tommy John surgery and played okay to well in the 2022 regular season. However, his draft stock has risen very quickly because of how well he played in the 2022 College World Series. Horton had broken the World Series record for strikeouts in a World Series finals game with 13 strikeouts.

The White Sox have drafted position players in four out of the last five drafts so you would think that they could look to bolster their pitching prospects with this draft. Horton’s fastball ranges from mid to upper 90s and a slider that has touched 90mph multiple times in college. After having Tommy John surgery, this is still very impressive for a 20 year old.

Cade Horton is the 4th pitcher since the NCAA Tournament expanded in 1999 with multiple starts of 10 strikeouts in a MCWS.
Alex Faedo for Florida in 2017
Trevor Bauer for UCLA in 2010
Jason Windsor for CSU Fullerton in 2004 https://t.co/2lz302ETrK

Stats:

College = (5-2) 4.86 ERA 53 Innings 64 K’s

Gabriel Hughes

Hughes has had a terrific career at Gonzaga, with very similar talents as Horton, a power pitcher that throws an upper 90s fastball and hard off-speed as well. He is another pitcher that could greatly benefit a team that is looking to quickly move a player up and use him in the bullpen rather than being a starter from the get go.

In terms of drafting a pitcher, if Rocker is taken, Hughes should be the guy the Sox look at drafting at #26. He is someone that would fit in very nicely with a White Sox pitching staff that has benefited from power pitching as of late.

Stats:

College = (12-8) 3.05 ERA 171 Innings 218 K’s

Chase DeLauter

The only non-pitcher on this list is a powerful left handed outfielder from James Madison University. DeLauter is a power bat with outstanding exit velocity. He has shown signs of being a swing and miss guy but has gotten progressively better over his three seasons at JMU. The White Sox already have two top outfield prospects with Yoelqui Cespedes and Oscar Colas, but DeLauter could be used as a DH and as an outfielder, plus the Sox desperately need more left handed bats in the organization.

Stats:

College (3 Seasons) = .402/.520/.715 66 G 15 HR 70 RBI 24 SB 62 BB

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