Monday, April 1, 2019

Draft Years: 1969

With the third pick in the 1969 amateur draft, the Chicago White Sox chose third baseman Ted Nicholson out of Oak Park High School in Laurel, Mississippi. Out of the top nine picks in the draft, Ted is the only one not to make it to the majors. During his first year with the White Sox, Ted played for the Gulf Coast League White Sox, where they switched him to the outfield. Despite a low average and only two home runs, Ted made the All-Star game. In 1970, Nicholson split time between the Duluth-Superior Dukes and the Appleton Foxes where he fared slightly better. Ted joined the war effort in Vietnam during the 1971 and 1972 seasons. Nicholson came back to the Appleton Foxes in 1973, but played only twelve games before calling it a career.

Some people have claimed that this was the "ultimate bust" in the history of White Sox draft picks. That's debatable. It's certainly in the bottom half of draft picks. The two year wartime break definitely did not help his development.

There were plenty of names that made the majors after Ted was picked. There are intriguing name like Ken Griffey, Gorman Thomas, Alan Ashby, Bob Boone, Bill Madlock and Buddy Bell. Even Dave Winfield was selected, but didn't sign. I would be really tempted to take Bert Blyleven here, but the White Sox took a third baseman and turned him into an outfielder, so keeping that logic here, the White Sox should have picked...

Dwight Evans
Dwight played for twenty seasons, earned seven Gold Gloves, was selected to three All-Star games and won a Silver Slugger award. Except for his rookie season in 1972 and the 1977 season, Evans played in over one hundred games in each season. He led the league three times with walks. Dwight also led MLB in runs scored in 1984.

I can envision an early eighties team with Dwight Evans, Harold Baines and Carlton Fisk being jumbled in the middle of the order. I can see Dwight being moved into the fifth spot in the 1981 season, when Fisk and Greg Luzinski were acquired and moving to the sixth spot when Baines came into his own. That would be a very intimidating middle of the order, who could hold their own at their respective positions.

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