The 2024 MLB Draft

MLB Draft 2024 Analysis: Who Do The Chicago White Sox Take At No. 5?

MLB Draft 2024 Analysis: Who Do The Chicago White Sox Take At No. 5?

The Chicago White Sox have been disappointing the last two seasons but could contend in the AL Central, clouding who they may take in the 2024 MLB Draft.

Feb 1, 2024 by Joe Harrington
MLB Draft 2024 Analysis: Who Do The Chicago White Sox Take At No. 5?

Following two disappointing seasons where they finished below expectations, the Chicago White Sox rebooted the front office following a 61-101 season in 2023. 

In what should have been a season in the middle of a championship window with stars such as Luis Robert, Tim Anderson and Dylan Cease, the White Sox instead were one of four teams to lose 100 games in 2023. 

Farm Director Chris Getz was promoted to general manager, and longtime front office executives Ken Williams and Rick Hahn were fired in August. 

The disappointing season hit another low when the White Sox fell out of the top 4 of the MLB Draft during the lottery. They will draft No. 5, while American League Central rival Cleveland, which won 15 more games than Chicago, landed the No.1 pick. 

It has been a strange offseason for the White Sox. 

Anderson, once the face of the franchise, had his $14 million option declined following a disastrous season. The White Sox also have been actively shopping players, most notably Cease, who has one of the highest asking prices on the trade market. 

Reports suggest that the White Sox want multiple top-10 prospects from any team they deal with. 

Cease, 28, finished second in the 2022 American League Cy Young voting but saw his ERA inflate to 4.58 in 2023, as he led the league in wild pitches for the second time in his career. He did average an impressive 10.9 strikeouts per nine innings, which is why the asking price for a player with two years of control is high. 

As of Jan. 30, Cease still was a White Sox player, which is what puts Chicago in a strange position.

The team has underperformed mightily since going 93-69 in 2021, but talentwise, the White Sox easily could contend in baseball’s worst division. 

Robert is a 26-year-old star. Andrew Benintendi, Yoan Moncada, Eloy Jimenez and Andrew Vaughn make the lineup around him dangerous - if they stay healthy. For the White Sox, that has been the key. 

Jimenez played in 120 games in 2023. In 2021, he played in just 55 games. In 2022, just 84. When healthy, Jimenez is a career .275 hitter. 

Pitching-wise, one of the reasons the White Sox have a high asking price for Cease is because he has two full seasons before he reaches free agency. If he returns to 2022 form, perhaps the White Sox could form a strong rotation. But it’ll take a lot of ifs:

  • If Michael Kopech pitches better – he had ERAs of 3.50 and 3.54 in 2021 and 2022 but was 5.43 last season. 
  • If Michael Soroka pitches like the star he was in 2019 before back-to-back devastating injuries ended his seasons in 2020, 2021 and 2022. Soroka, 26, returned to the contending Braves in 2023 but was ineffective with a 6.40 ERA across 32 1/3 innings. 
  • If Touki Toussaint can be more consistent. 
  • If Chris Flexen pitches like he did in 2021 and 2022.

It’s doable. 

But if the team trades Cease, then it likely means more trades are coming, and the rebuild is coming for a team in baseball’s third-largest market. And that means the No. 5 pick could be a building block for the future. 

So, who will the White Sox take at No. 5?

What The Chicago White Sox Roster Has Before The 2024 MLB Draft

The White Sox  have a roster that easily could contend in the weak American League Central. The Tigers and Royals have improved their teams, but the Guardians have been quiet and the Twins’ roster has taken a hit this offseason. 

While they’ve openly shopped Cease, the White have added players. They traded for a still 26-year-old Soroka. Flexen was signed. Veteran reliever Tim Hill was added to the bullpen. No.5 prospect Jake Eder was added to the 40-man roster. 

Even the addition of Erick Fedde is intriguing after he pitched in Korea in 2023 and went 20-6 with a 2.00 ERA that landed him a two-year $15 million contract. 

If the White Sox are rebuilding, they are having a hard time showing it. 

But with all these additions on one- and two-year deals, it also means the White Sox could be sellers, once again. 

Chicago White Sox Prospects And Minor League System ranked the White Sox’s system No. 20 in August, with Colson Montgomery ranking No. 17. They had three top-100 prospects overall. 

They once had the No.1 system in 2017, which plays into why the last few years have been disappointing for the White Sox. 

In’s most updated prospect list, Montgomery, the 21-year-old shortstop and 22nd pick of the 2021 draft, is the No. 9-ranked prospect in baseball. Baseball America has him at No. 15. 

Overall, the White Sox begin the season with two prospects in the top 100, with 20-year-old Noah Schultz, the 6-foot-9 lefty taken 26th overall in 2022, at No. 50. The No. 15 overall pick, Jacob Gonzalez, didn’t make the top 100 for 

At Baseball America, Schultz is at No. 40. 

So, it’s easy to see why the White Sox would want to rebuild and have a high asking price for Cease. 

And why the No. 5 pick is important for the South Siders. 

Who Are The Chicago White Sox Taking With The No. 5 MLB Draft Pick?

This question will be better answered in June when it become clearer as to what the White Sox will do. 

If they plan to keep the pieces they have together, then taking a player who could possibly shoot through the system quickly would be ideal. The White Sox, outside of Robert, seem to have no real positional blocks for a top prospect. 

The last time they had a pick this high, they selected Andrew Vaughn out of California No. 3 overall in 2019. Vaughn was behind only Adley Rutschman and Bobby Witt on Baseball America;s draft prospect list. He hasn’t had the impact those two have had, but he has become a solid MLB player since being called up in 2021. He hit .258 with 21 home runs in 2023. 

This could be where the first pitcher is taken in the draft. 

And that could be one of two Wake Forest pitchers in Chase Burns or Josh Hartle. 

Burns is Baseball America’s top pitching prospect in the draft, while Hartle is’s. The difference is Hartle comes in at No. 13 at MLB, and Burns is No. 7. 

Burns has been clocked at 101 mph and averages 96 mph. He has a slider that could be a plus pitch. At 6-foot-4, 195 pounds, the right-hander has the frame as well. 

He’ll pitch for the No.1 team in the country after transferring to Wake Forest, who saw Rhett Lowder drafted in the top 10 last year. 

This also could be spot for any of the top outfielders. 

Northeastern’s Mike Sirota is the No. 5 overall prospect at Baseball America, and has him at No. 11. Baseball America calls Sirota the “most tantalizing” player in the draft. The 6-foot-3-inch outfielder hit .346 with 18 home runs and 54 RBIs for Northeastern in 2023. He added 19 stolen bases.

Given that it’s only a matter of time before the budget-focused White Sox trade Cease, and assuming the top-4 prospects (JJ Wetherholt, Nick Kurtz, Travis Bazzana and Jac Caglianone) are gone, Burns could be the pick. 

More MLB Draft 2024 Coverage 

When Is The 2024 MLB Draft?

The 2024 MLB Draft is part of MLB All-Star week and will be in Arlington, Texas, where the World Series champion Texas Rangers are hosting the All-Star Game. 

The All-Star Game is July 16. The official date of the draft has yet to be announced, but the 2023 MLB Draft began the Sunday before the All-Star Game, which was played on Tuesday.  

MLB Draft 2024 Order

The New York Mets, New York Yankees and San Diego Padres’ first picks dropped 10 spots because the clubs exceeded the second surcharge threshold of the competitive balance tax by more than $40 million. 

Here’s the order: 

  1. Cleveland Guardians
  2. Cincinnati Reds
  3. Colorado Rockies
  4. Oakland A’s
  5. Chicago White Sox
  6. Kansas City Royals
  7. St. Louis Cardinals 
  8. Los Angeles Angels 
  9. Pittsburgh Pirates
  10. Washington Nationals 
  11. Detroit Tigers
  12. Boston Red Sox
  13. San Francisco Giants
  14. Chicago Cubs
  15. Seattle Mariners
  16. Miami Marlins 
  17. Milwaukee Brewers
  18. Tampa Bay Rays
  19. New York Mets
  20. Toronto Blue Jays
  21. Minnesota Twins
  22. Baltimore Orioles 
  23. Los Angeles Dodgers 
  24. Atlanta Braves 
  25. San Diego Padres 
  26. New York Yankees
  27. Philadelphia Phillies 
  28. Houston Astros 
  29. Arizona Diamondbacks 
  30. Texas Rangers
  31. Arizona Diamondbacks
  32. Baltimore Orioles 
  33. Minnesota Twins
  34. Baltimore Orioles
  35. Arizona Diamondbacks
  36. Cleveland Guardians
  37. Pittsburgh Pirates
  38. Colorado Rockies
  39. Kansas City Royals

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