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White Sox Mon Jun 07 2010

Sox Draft Lanky Lefty in First Round

SoxLogoSmall.jpegTo see the difficulty major-league scouts and draft analysts had projecting left-handed pitcher Chris Sale, you needed only to check ESPN analyst Keith Law's final mock draft. He slotted Sale at No. 10 and wondered if he might go as early as fourth or fifth. Several teams liked the kid a lot.

But when Law, a former front office assistant with the Toronto Blue Jays, assigned the players his own rankings, he pegged Sale 47th. Too much can go wrong with a 6-6, 175-pound beanpole to be confident about his major-league future.

"If you like Chris Sale, you see a 6'6" left-hander with an arm slot close to Randy Johnson's, a plus fastball and change, and a potential front-line starter," Law wrote before the White Sox selected Sale with the 13th pick in Monday's first round.

"If you're a skeptic, you see a sidearming lefthander without an average breaking ball and a long arm action that will be tough to repeat 100-plus times an outing. I'm more in the latter camp than the former, and I think Sale's pro future is reasonably likely to come in the bullpen. ... His arm action is ugly, long and complex in the back with a high elbow, and he drifts forward in a crouch more commonly seen on sidearmers and submariners."

Clearly, the past results have been good. Sale, 21, dominated as a Florida Gulf Coast University junior this year and was the best pitcher in the Cape Cod League last summer. He's got a great, bulldog attitude on the mound -- it doesn't hurt that he looks a little like the aforementioned Randy Johnson coming at you.

chris sale.jpg

Check out this (non-embeddable) MLB.com video report on Sale and try WhiteSox.com for news on the team's other draft picks.

MLB.com also caught up with last year's No. 1 pick, outfielder Jared Mitchell, who represented the organization at the draft after suffering a season-ending ankle injury in spring training.

 
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