After a strong start to the 2021 MLB Draft over the first two days, the White Sox continued to reinforce their minor league ranks Tuesday with ten more picks. We're here to break down the players drafted by the White Sox in rounds 11-15. But first, if you've missed any of the White Sox first ten picks, On Tap Sports Net has you covered:
- First Round: SS Colson Montgomery
- Second Round: 3B Wes Kath
- Third Round: RHP Sean Burke
- Fourth Round: LHP Brooks Gosswein
- Fifth Round: RHP Tanner McDougal
- Sixth Round through Tenth Round
Round 11, Pick 335: RHP Christian Edwards
In four years at Jacksonville State, Edwards was 15-8 with a 3.13 ERA and 12.5 strikeouts per nine innings. The Gamecocks used the 6-foot-3, 205 pounder exclusively in relief appearances during his first three seasons.
Edwards excelled as a freshman, recording a minuscule 1.91 ERA and 55 strikeouts in just 33 innings pitched. He also logged three saves that year.
After struggling out of the pen in 2020, Edwards was moved to the rotation and found success there.
He started 11 games over his senior year, going 5-2 with a 2.48 ERA, while still maintaining a strikeout rate over 10. As a starter, Edwards also improved his walk rate, something he struggled with out of the bullpen.
As a four-year senior, the White Sox should have no issues signing the 21-year-old. They will most likely develop him as a reliever unless Edwards can force their hand otherwise.
You can watch Edwards (#32) in this highlight reel from JSU's game against Valparaiso this past February.
Round 12, Pick 365: RHP Johnny Ray
The White Sox scouts are certainly taking a flyer on 22-year-old Johnny Ray considering there's very little consistent gameplay to go off.
Originally a member of Illinois State baseball as a freshman, Ray never ended up pitching for the Redbirds. He transferred to John A. Logan Community college for the 2019 season but oblique injuries hindered him there.
He finally found his home in Texas, playing two years at TCU but struggled to find his rhythm, recording a 6.50 ERA and walking 28 batters across 44.1 innings in 11 starts.
Round 13, Pick 395: C Colby Smelley
The White Sox dipped into the Juco ranks for the first time with their 13th pick.
Catcher Colby Smelley played three seasons for Shelton State Community College in Alabama. Over his three years, Smelley played in 55 games and slashed .385/.473/.533. In his senior year, the 6-foot-1, 190 lb 21-year-old ran into nine long-balls on his way to recording 28 extra-base hits.
Smelley has had quite a tumultuous baseball career already, forced to overcome a lot in his 21 years. He grew up pitching, and at just 15 years old tore his UCL, requiring Tommy John surgery. After bouncing around between the outfield and infield, Smelley found his spot behind the plate with Shelton State. His journey was expertly chronicled in this article from Tuscaloosanews.com.
Smelley does appear to have the chance to make a move to D1 baseball with the University of Louisiana Lafayette, so this could end up being a tough signing for the White Sox.
Round 14, Pick 425: RHP Noah Owen
The White Sox went with another Community College prospect with the 425th pick, this time with a pitcher.
Out of high school, right-hander Noah Owen was touted as the eighth-best pitcher in California and 50th in the nation. He started his college career pitching for Golden West Community College in California. In his sophomore season, the now 20-year-old made seven appearances, going 2-2 with a 3.15 ERA and 49 strikeouts.
Like other young Juco players in this area of the draft, Owen recently committed to play ball at the D1 level, so signing him will be a stretch for the White Sox.
Round 15, Pick 455: OF Cameron Butler
After focusing on college arms for much of days two and three, the White Sox went back to the prep pool in the 15th round, drafting Cameron Butler, an outfielder out of Big Valley Christian HS in California.
Although Bulter was announced as an outfielder, he is an extremely versatile super-utility player. In addition to the outfield, Butler can play any position in the infield, focusing mostly on shortstop. Perfect Game actually has Butler listed as the 21st-best shortstop in California, and 107th nationally.
To add to his resume, Butler was recently awarded the honor of California Player of The Year by Prep Baseball Report California.
The 18-year-old is committed to play ball at Cal Poly, but the Whit Sox will work to convince him otherwise hoping to mold the youngster and find his true spot on the diamond.
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