Though not receiving the same amount of attention as their crosstown rivals, the White Sox also had a first-round pick in the MLB Draft on Thursday night.
With the 17th-overall pick in the draft, the Sox selected Tim Anderson, a 19-year-old shortstop out of East Central Community College in Decatur, Miss.
Anderson had a big year in Division II of the NJCAA, being named an All-American after leading the country with a .495 batting average and 62 runs scored. He hit 10 home runs, posted a .563 on-base percentage and slugged .864, while his 41 stolen bases ranked second in the country.
“Tim is a very athletic player who, although we didn’t target a specific position, certainly fits a need in the middle of the diamond”, said Doug Laumann, White Sox director of amateur scouting, in a press release. “He is an exciting top-of-the-order type player who is a game-changer with great ability to create offense at a key position on the field. Tim was the best player available, and we couldn’t be more happy.”
Anderson's path to the majors, his path to the first round, was somewhat unlikely, as he had just one scholarship offer coming out of high school two years ago.
"Any pick anywhere would've surprised me considering that two years ago, coming out of high school I didn't have any offers," Anderson said in a conference call Thursday. "I had one offer to play baseball, and that was at East Central. It was amazing, I grew so fast, and I never thought I'd be here one day."
He said that he's not yet a complete player, commenting that he needs to improve his defense, but he also noted that he compares to Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes when it comes to his tool package.
"I'd describe myself as, not a power guy, but a gap-to-gap guy with potential to have a lot of power if I get stronger," Anderson said. "I'll say I don't swing and miss a whole lot."
For the third year in a row, the Sox have drafted a position player with their first pick in the draft. Last year, the Sox selected outfielder Courtney Hawkins, and in 2011, they picked Keenyn Walker, an outfielder who also played in junior college.
In the second round, the White Sox selected Durant High School (FL) pitcher Tyler Danish with the 55th selection. The six-foot two inch right-hander went 94 innings this year without giving up an earned run.