Sox selected lefty pitcher Sale with top pick

June, 7, 2010
6/07/10
9:24
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
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The Chicago White Sox selected left-handed pitcher Chris Sale from Florida Gulf Coast University with the 13th pick in the baseball draft on Monday.

Sale's 6-foot-6, 183-pound frame is similar to another former White Sox first-round pick, former Cy Young winner Jack McDowell, who was selected in 1987.

"We talked a lot about college pitching," White Sox scouting director Doug Laumann said. "We were happy to get him at this position in the draft. Some of our scouts saw him pitch last year in the Cape Cod League, and he pitched well for them. He's a lanky kid, but a McDowell comparison is pretty accurate."

Laumann was only talking about body type not what they expect from Sale, 21, down the road.

"Our intentions are that he will be a starter," Laumann said. "Before he goes out to the minor leagues we might cut his innings back just a little bit. We're impressed with all his pitches.

"In one game I saw him pitch he started throwing his fastball 88-92. In the late part of the game, seventh, eighth and ninth inning, he was up to 92 to 96. So as you can see he got stronger as the game went along. He has a good slider and a strikeout-type changeup that gets swings and misses."

Laumann was asked about the signability of their top pick.

"We feel it's good," he said. "He's excited about the opportunity. It's time for him to get on with his next challenge."

The White Sox are likely to start Sale at a low or high-A classification and then let his success dictate the next step.

I asked Sale how quickly he could join the White Sox.

"I hope I can sign soon," Sale said. "I'm ready to play. No one is getting better working out a deal but we'll see."

I asked Sale how quickly he could progress up to the majors.

"Obviously, I'd like to get there as quickly as I can but that's up to my coaching staff," Sale said.

Click here for more analysis from ESPN's MLB Draft Blog

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Chris Sale
WINS ERA SO IP
9 2.03 110 102
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Abreu .292
HRJ. Abreu 29
RBIJ. Abreu 74
RJ. Abreu 51
OPSJ. Abreu .961
ERAC. Sale 2.03
SOJ. Quintana 115