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Tuesday, June 7, 2011
White Sox target pitching on Day 2 of draft

By Doug Padilla

CHICAGO -- A day after selecting a speedy outfielder with their first selection in the First Year Player Draft, the Chicago White Sox focused on pitching during Day 2 of the proceedings.

Nine of the White Sox first 11 selections Tuesday were pitchers, starting with hard-throwing Cal right-hander Erik Johnson. In fact, the White Sox selected three players from Cal, which nearly had its baseball program eliminated this year because of budget cuts.

Cal shortstop Marcus Semien was selected in the sixth round, while catcher Chadd Krist was picked in the 13th round.

Before selecting Krist, the White Sox went with a flood of pitching, including right-hander Jeff Soptic out of Johnson County Community College in Kansas in the third round and right-hander Kyle McMillen, a closer from Kent State, in the fourth round. In the fifth round, the White Sox selected Stanford left-hander Scott Snodgress.

“That’s kind of what I thought we’d work from with the strength [of the draft],” said White Sox director of amateur scouting Doug Laumann. “I was of course pleased we were able to get that athlete [outfielder Keenyn Walker] with that first pick and then we wanted to go pitching after that. At some point and time you have to find guys who can catch and throw it and score some runs. But I was happy.”

A total of 16 of the White Sox’s 30 selections in two days were pitchers. It was a West Coast-heavy draft as well, with 14 of the players from west of the Rocky Mountains, including 12 from California.

The White Sox selected one high school player in their first 30 picks, and he was from Canada, taking center fielder Dustin Hayes out of Walnut Grove High School in Langley, British Columbia in the 29th round.

Day 3 of the draft will take place Wednesday with Rounds 31-50.