Sunday, August 14, 2022

White Sox First Round Pick Draws Comparisons To Randy Johnson

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After being selected by the Chicago White Sox with the 26th pick in the MLB draft, Noah Schultz had a life-changing decision on his hands.



Sign with the White Sox or go to college and potentially increase his draft value. The 18-year-old is already committed to Vanderbilt, one of the best college baseball programs in the country. Meanwhile, the 26th overall pick has a slot value of $2,788,000.

It didn’t take Schultz long to make up his mind.

“I am part of the Chicago White Sox now,” Schultz said. “It was a great school to be committed to and everything. I loved it, but I think this opportunity is something I could not pass up. I’m excited to see what happens in the future.”

Schultz grew up right in the White Sox backyard, attending Oswego East High School, just 43 miles from Guaranteed Rate Field. The last time the White Sox selected a high school pitcher in the first round was in 2001, when they picked Kris Honel out of Providence Catholic High School.

To say Schultz was happy at the end of the night was an understatement. The southpaw was brought on a Zoom call Sunday night to meet the media. Before anyone had gotten a chance to ask him a question, Shultz had already begun talking about how delighted he was to be a White Sox.

“It’s the best night of my life,” an enthusiastic Shultz said while sporting a White Sox cap.

It’s safe to say both parties were happy by the night’s end. Schultz will now get the opportunity to pursue his dream of becoming a major leaguer. The White Sox get a talented young arm that has drawn comparisons to Randy Johnson from MLB.com.

At 6- foot-9 and 220 pounds, he has a similar build to Johnson. He also delivers the ball from a left three-quarters arm slot. Despite the tall and lanky frame, Schultz has surprisingly good body control. He does not have the power of Johnson but is much more polished than the five-time Cy Young Winner was as a teenager.

Schultz’s fastball sits around 89-92 mph. He has shown the ability to reach back and touch 98 mph. Scouts still had some questions about the development of his fastball heading into his senior season, but Schultz did little to answer them. He missed most of his senior year after coming down with mono.

His biggest weapon is an upper 70s slider. It has a horizontal break and finishes along the back foot of right-handed batters. Shultz’s arm slot makes the slider especially difficult to pick up.

During six appearances for Illinois Valley in the Prospect League, he went 1-0 with 37 strikeouts and posted a 0.93 ERA in 19 1/3 innings of work.

Schultz was not the White Sox’s only selection of the night. They also grabbed Peyton Pallette out of Arkansas with the 62nd overall pick in the second round.

It was a great value pick for the White Sox. Pallette entered the draft ranked as the No. 43 overall draft prospect. Many believe the Tommy John surgery he underwent on January 31st affected his draft stock.

In two seasons at Arkansas, he posted a 3.79 ERA and a 1.281 WHIP while averaging 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings. Pitching was a priority for the White Sox in the draft, and they made sure to address it.

“Tonight, we landed two guys who have the pedigree and stuff to pitch at the Major League level. It’s very difficult to do.” The White Sox director of amateur scouting, Mike Shultz, said. “These guys offer the arsenal and makeup to be starters and answer the bell every five days.”

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