It’s no secret the Sox have been rather sub-par in the draft for the past decade or so. Years of failure has set the franchise back to a point where they needed to sell off possibly the best pitcher the team has ever had in order to rebuild their farm system. No matter how good the prospects coming back are going to be, and even though I believe it’s absolutely the correct move (and should’ve been done a year ago) I will never be happy about selling parts. The precursor to a fire sale is always an organizational failure, and most of the time organizational failure starts with the draft.
For the purpose of keeping this short, we’ll stick to the first round and I’ll start in 2009 where the pain really begins to sink in. That year the Sox drafted Jared Mitchell 23rd overall, who has appeared in a grand total of zero MLB games. The next guy drafted was Randal Grichuk, who is well on his way to becoming a serviceable MLB outfielder. It stings to look at the guy who was drafted 25th overall because there’s a possibility he might go down as the greatest player ever: Mike Trout. Granted, there were 23 other teams who passed on Trout as well, but it’s almost poetic to see ‘White Sox’ listed two spots ahead of the best player in the game.
In 2010 they drafted Chris Sale and we all know how that turned out. Now get ready for this list. 2011 produced possibly one of the best drafts in recent decades with current MLB players Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, Francisco Lindor, Javier Baez, George Springer, Sonny Gray, CJ Cron, Trevor Bauer, Kolton Wong, Blake Swihart, Joe Panik, Mikie Mahtook, Jackie Bradley Jr., Trevor Story and the recently deceased Jose Fernandez among others. However, the Sox had to wait until the supplemental round at pick 47 because they signed Adam Dunn. With that pick they took Keenyn Walker.
In 2012 they stuck with the athletic outfielder theme, picking Courtney Hawkins. While Hawkins has yet to make it past AA, players drafted after him like Corey Seager, Michael Wacha, Tyler Naquin, and Marcus Stroman have all solidified their place in the Majors. They may have made up for it in 2013 by drafting Tim Anderson, but the jury is still out on whether he can be an impact shortstop.
In the third overall pick of the 2014 draft, they took a big lefty with known control issues. We’ve seen flashes of what Carlos Rodon can be, but only flashes considering he was rushed to the Bigs. Drafted immediately after him by the Cubs was Kyle Schwarber, who has proven he can disintegrate baseballs. In 2015, they drafted a small righty with a funky motion in Carson Fulmer. So far he’s another rushed prospect and looks like he could be suited better for the bullpen.
When the story of this regime currently in charge of our Chicago White Sox is said and done, our kids will be asking us why they had to trade away two of the games premier left-handed pitchers in their prime. All we need to do is send them a couple Wikipedia links which will show the utter dysfunction that is the White Sox drafting ability.