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WSI News - News Watch

White Sox maintain arms race

CHICAGO -- The White Sox did their best on the first day of the 2002 First-year Player Draft to prove true the old adage that baseball is 90-percent pitching.

The Sox took pitchers with 14 of their 22 picks -- that's 64 percent for those scoring at home -- making left-handed closer Royce Ring the 18th overall pick and taking hurlers with four of their top five selections.

"We definitely like to draft pitching," director of scouting Doug Laumann said. "Pitching either brings you other pitching or other players so we kind of stick with that philosophy."

It came as no surprise the Sox sought to once again stockpile their farm system with pitchers. The offseason trade of Josh Fogg, Kip Wells and Matt Guerrier to Pittsburgh, plus the Major League progress of Dan Wright, Jon Garland, Mark Buehrle and Matt Ginter have reduced the number of the organization's top pitching prospects.

"There were some clubs that had the philosophy that they were going to take some position guys early because it was weak in position players," Laumann said. "I've always felt like you're supposed to deal from a position of strength so if the draft is strong and has strength in pitching then you should take pitching."

After taking Chicago-area pitcher Kris Honel with their first pick last year, they waited until the final selection of the day to take infielder Eric Keefner in the 22nd round. Keefner played high school baseball at De La Salle, which is located just across the Dan Ryan Expressway, a short walk from Comiskey Park.

Here's a rundown of Tuesday's selections after Ring:

For complete story, click here.



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