View Full Version : BA looks at a couple late round picks

11-25-2002, 05:10 PM
From BA:

Chicago White Sox
Chasing Buehrle

CHICAGO–Pitching has been the focus of four of the last five White Sox drafts. Thirty-eight of 57 players selected in the first 10 rounds were pitchers.

While many top picks won’t pan out, such disappointment is often offset by lower-round bargains. It’s going to be hard to find a bigger one than Mark Buehrle, who was a 38th-round draft-and-follow in 1998, but the Sox have identified a couple of candidates in righthander Brian Miller and lefthander Daniel Haigwood.

Miller, 20, won a team-high seven games and compiled a 4.30 ERA to help Rookie-level Bristol win the Appalachian League title. He added velocity on his fastball, jumping into the mid-90s, and improved his change–a plus pitch for him at Charlotte (Mich.) High. He had wild streaks but didn’t often beat himself.

"He’s as good as any young pitcher we have," farm director Bob Fontaine said. "He’s got power stuff. He went out in the Appalachian League and dominated some people."

Miller’s also tough. Scouting director Doug Laumann says when Fontaine went to see Miller pitch before the 2001 draft, Miller knocked himself unconscious in a collision with a post. A few minutes later he was back on the mound.

The Sox landed Miller with a 20th-round pick. He had been Michigan’s top high school pitcher but slid because of his asking price and a commitment to Michigan State.

Haigwood, 19, won a team-high eight games for the Rookie-level Arizona League squad. He had a 2.28 ERA and a strikeout-walk ratio of almost 3-1. "He knows how to pitch," Fontaine said.

Haigwood went 43-1 at Midland High in Pleasant Plains, Ark. He had never lost before the semifinals of the 2002 state tournament. Laumann says Haigwood’s fastball looked like 90 mph to him because of natural deception, though it was usually clocked in the mid-80s.

"He was overpowering guys with an 85-86 mile an hour fastball," Laumann said. "A lot of times we scouts just fill out the gun readings. But as the season progressed he was consistently 87-89, and he’s still got great deception."