2021 MLB Draft Recap: Chicago White Sox

Draft White Sox 2021 Montgomery

Leading up to the draft, three names kept coming up in expert’s mocks for the Chicago White Sox first-round pick: Colson Montgomery, Max Muncy, and Wes Kath. Things could not have worked out better for the White Sox; Montgomery fell to them in the first round and Kath lasted to the second. This is an organization that has gotten an incredible amount of major league value from the draft in the past decade. Chicago has seven of their own first-round draft choices on their roster, essential for a team like the White Sox whose budget doesn’t match their major market. Chicago picked later in the draft this year than any time in the past decade and they went a different route with that first round pick than in nearly that long.

Make sure to check out all of our other MLB Draft Recaps.

Draft Selections

Round 1, Pick 22: Colson Montgomery, SS, Southridge (IN)

Montgomery is the first high schooler picked by the White Sox since 2012, as they have typically gone safe with college players. Chicago loves Montgomery’s athleticism and makeup and believes he can stay at shortstop, while others believe he may outgrow the position and move to third base. Montgomery was a three-sport star in high school, good enough to have a spot on Indiana University’s basketball team if he would choose to go the college route. Montgomery is 6-foot-4, 190 pounds, and hits left-handed.

Round 2, Pick 57: Wes Kath, 3B, Desert Mountain (AZ)

While Kath played shortstop in high school, it is assumed he will move to third base in the future. Like Montgomery, Kath hits from the left side of the plate. He’s also similar physically to Montgomery: an inch shorter and ten pounds heavier. His best traits are his power potential and his strong arm. The White Sox believe they got two of the top high school hitters in the entire draft with their first two picks.

Round 3, Pick 94: Sean Burke, RHP, University of Maryland

Burke was ranked 41 spots higher on Baseball America’s Top-500 draft prospects than where the White Sox picked him, so Chicago may have gotten nice value with this pick. The Maryland Terrapins’ right-handed pitcher throws hard and looks the part of a big-league hurler at 6-foot-6. He struggles a bit with his control but has excellent strikeout rates and only gave up 48 hits in 74.1 innings this past college season. Mike Shirley, the White Sox scouting director, said some of their scouts wanted Chicago to take Burke with their first-round pick.

Round 4, Pick 124: Brooks Gosswein, LHP, Bradley University

The second college pitcher the team selected was chosen more on potential than results. He has good size (6-foot-2, 180 pounds) and is seen as being very athletic. There is a possibility the lefty could be shifted to the bullpen where he might see better results than he did this past season at Bradley. Gosswein has nasty stuff but did not dominate in college (ERAs over 5.00 in both 2020 and 2021).

Round 5, Pick 155: Tanner McDougal, RHP, Silverado (NV)

The White Sox selected a dozen pitchers in the draft, but McDougal was the only high school hurler. The University of Oregon recruit checks all the analytics boxes with lots of movement and spin rates on his various pitches. McDougal has excellent size at 6-foot-5. He throws hard (95 mph fastball), but the White Sox will look to alter his delivery a bit.

6th Round (No. 185 Overall): Taylor Broadway, RHP, Ole Miss

7th Round (No. 215 Overall): Theo Denlinger, RHP, Bradley University

8th Round (No. 245 Overall): Fraser Ellard, LHP, Liberty University

9th Round (No. 275 Overall): Gil Luna, LHP, University of Arizona

10th Round (No. 305 Overall): Tommy Sommer, LHP, Indiana University

11th Round (No. 335 Overall): Christian Edwards, RHP, Jacksonville State University

12th Round (No. 365 Overall): Johnny Ray, RHP, Texas Christian University

13th Round (No. 395 Overall): Colby Smelley, C, Shelton State Junior College

14th Round (No. 425 Overall): Noah Owen, RHP, Golden West Junior College

15th Round (No. 455 Overall): Cameron Butler, OF, Big Valley Christian (CA)

16th Round (No. 485 Overall): Terrell Tatum, OF, North Carolina State University

17th Round (No. 515 Overall): Jayson Gonzalez, 3B, Vanderbilt University

18th Round (No. 545 Overall): Adam Hackenberg, C, Clemson University

19th Round (No. 575 Overall): Shawn Goosenberg, SS, Northwestern University

20th Round (No. 605 Overall): Haylen Green, LHP, Texas Christian University

Best Pick

Round 2, Pick 57: Wes Kath, 3B, Desert Mountain (AZ)

Kath was strongly considered for the White Sox first-round pick, so they were ecstatic when he was still on the board when their second-round pick came up. Chicago has changed their approach in the past couple years with their second- and third-round picks. They had previously coveted college players that were considered “low-ceiling” but “high-floor” picks. For the past few years, the Southsiders have shifted to high school talent. These players, of course, are riskier but possess higher upside. Kath is considered by many to be a first-round talent and there is a chance that Montgomery, their first-round pick, will eventually shift to Kath’s position. Taking the top talent is almost always the best approach, and the White Sox did that with this pick.

Worst Pick

Round 4, Pick 124: Brooks Gosswein, LHP, Bradley University

On the surface, Gosswein should be much better than his results. If the White Sox can fix some of the issues that have held him back, he can easily justify being picked in the fourth round.  However, the Missouri Valley Conference is not the most elite collegiate competition and he certainly did not dominate. This past season he gave up a hit per inning, walked a few too many, and his strikeout rate wasn’t anything special. He will sign for below slot and that’s important as the White Sox will need the extra money to sign some of their high school choices. Chicago has a good history of developing pitchers so perhaps they will work their magic here, but the odds are against it.

Draft Grade: B

By picking at No. 22 and not having any compensatory picks, Chicago was limited with the money allotted to them to spend on draft selections. As a result, they chose a number of college players (the majority of them pitchers–12 of the 20), and many who were fourth-year players who will sign below slot. Those players tend to be organizational depth and rarely turn into significant major leaguers. The grade isn’t anything the White Sox should be ashamed of. The top three picks were all within Baseball America’s top 60, and those will be the players Chicago expects to eventually have trade value or contribute in a meaningful way to the organization.

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