CHICAGO -- The White Sox went with an athletic middle infielder over pitching with their No. 17 selection of shortstop Tim Anderson in the first round Thursday of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.
And there was no guarantee they were going to grab a pitcher later with their second-round pick at No. 55, despite a perpetual need and desire for that spot to be filled in their Minor League system.
"Quite honestly, the depth of pitching is not real good," said White Sox director of amateur scouting Doug Laumann of the Draft's talent pool. "We got a couple of guys here on our next pick at 55 tonight, which will be our last pick, that we kind of are looking at.
"Again, we are not going to target anything in particular. If we feel there's another shortstop on the board and he's available and he's the best guy, we'll go ahead and take him."
Apparently, Tyler Danish was one of those pitchers targeted by the White Sox and topped the available talent.
Danish, 18, is a right-handed hurler from Durant High School in Plant City, Florida, who is committed to the University of Florida. According to the MLB.com scouting report, Danish "employs a funky, low three-quarters delivery, which adds deception and causes a lot of movement on his fastball."
His look on video resembles the South Siders' own Jake Peavy, while the scouting report mentions that some compare Danish's arm action to Oakland's Pat Neshek. Danish, who stands 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds, throws a fastball in the low 90s, along with a slider that "provides good contrast to hitters," the scouting report continues.
He started 15 of 17 games for Durant this season, posting an impressive 15-1 record, with an even more impressive no earned runs allowed over 94 innings while striking out 156 and walking 16. The MLB.com scouting report points out that Danish's arm action has him destined for a high-leverage bullpen situation, adding that some scouts are concerned his delivery is a red flag for injury.
A recommended signing bonus for Danish at No. 55 is $1,001,800, whereas the recommended signing bonus for Anderson at No. 17 is $2,164,000 out of the club's total pool of $5,301,600.
In a Tampa Tribune article from May 23 of this year, Danish's senior year was listed as the greatest single season in Hillsborough County history. The writer surmised that he bested efforts from Dwight Gooden, Vance Lovelace, Rich Monteleone, Kenny Rogers, Danny Graves and Jose Fernandez, all of whom made it to the Major Leagues.
There's now an avenue for Danish to follow in these hurlers' big league footsteps.