CLEVELAND -- After being selected with the 13th selection overall in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, Chris Sale needed just two months and 11 Minor League games to get to the White Sox bullpen. Carlos Rodon, the White Sox top pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft and third selection overall who signed on Friday, figures to be on that same fast track, although he has not pitched since May 16 for North Carolina State.
Sale had some basic advice for the talented southpaw, who will try to follow the same development path: Just focus on pitching.
"You are not worried about the ifs, ands or buts," said Sale, who spent parts of two seasons in the bullpen before becoming one of the game's top starters. "It becomes a whirlwind just being in a different scenario in a different game. Professional baseball is different from college baseball. Your main focus is pitching and playing baseball.
"The biggest part is doing the same stuff you've done and not getting away from what got you where you are and throwing strikes. At any level, throwing strikes is the biggest part of pitching."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.