The Chicago White Sox used their first-round pick on Oswego East high school (Ill.) pitcher Noah Schultz, who compares to Hall of Famer Randy Johnson.
The 2022 MLB Draft kicked off on Sunday, July 17 as part of All-Star weekend. The Chicago White Sox enter the break with a 46-46 record and 3.5 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays for the final AL Wild Card spot. They have to feel even better following the first-round of the draft.
With the 26th-overall pick, the White Sox selected Oswego East (Ill.) pitcher Noah Schultz, who does compare to Hall of Fame pitcher Randy Johnson in more ways than one.
White Sox first-round pick Noah Schultz actually compares to Randy Johnson
First off, Schultz stands at 6-foot-9, similar to Johnson’s height throughout his MLB career. That, and Schultz has a three-quarter arm slot. White Sox fans certainly are paying attention now. Come on, he’s being compared to Johnson after all!
MLB Pipeline ranked Schultz as the 49th-overall prospect in the entire 2022 draft class. His draft profile noted what his biggest weapon was in his pitching arsenal — a slider in the upper 70-mph range.
“Schultz’s biggest weapon is an upper-70s slider with horizontal break that’s nearly impossible for lefties to track because of the angle he presents, and he also can back-foot it against righties. His fastball sat at 89-92 mph and peaked at 94 with good carry and armside run on the showcase circuit last summer, and he’s not afraid to work it inside on right-handers. He hasn’t had much need for a changeup yet but shows some aptitude for throwing one with some fade.”
Here is what The Athletic’s Keith Law had to say about Schultz:
“Schultz missed almost the entire spring after contracting mono in March, but did return in mid-May and appeared to have recovered fully from the illness. He’s 6-9 and very projectable, coming from a very low 3/4 slot that will, of course, elicit comparisons to Randy Johnson and Chris Sale. The slot alone gives him deception against left-handed batters, and his height gives him some natural extension to further that. He has a sweepy slider that projects to plus. He should end up throwing comfortably in the mid-90s given his frame and the way his arm works, with his changeup a clear third among his current offerings.”
Schultz was committed to play for the Vanderbilt baseball program. White Sox fans fearing that he would opt against signing with Chicago, that is not the case, as he told reporters that he will sign his contract with the team.
The White Sox faithful will certainly be intrigued by Schultz’s comparisons to the “Big Unit.” Whether he actually gets to his level remains to be seen. But it is pretty cool that Schultz, who played high school ball approximately 50 miles away from Guaranteed Rate Field, got selected by the White Sox.