Mendick looks to make most of opportunity with Chicago White Sox
The Chicago White Sox already have recent first-round draft picks Tim Anderson and Zack Collins on the roster, and you can throw disappointing pitcher Carson Fulmer's name in there as well.
The Sox are also excited to soon welcome their last two top picks -- Nick Madrigal and Andrew Vaughn, who is scheduled to visit his future home, Guaranteed Rate Field, before Tuesday night's game against the Kansas City Royals.
Hitting on high draft picks is a must for rebuilding teams hoping to get turned in the right direction. Mining some productive lower-round talent is an added bonus.
It's looking like the White Sox found a keeper in Danny Mendick, a 22nd-round draft pick out of the University of Massachusetts-Lowell in 2015.
"People throw out the term 'baseball player,' and I think that's pretty accurate with him," said Chris Getz, the Sox's director of player development. "He can play shortstop, second base, third base. He's a guy that does all the little things well. He puts together good at-bats, has some power, and he runs the bases well."
A lack of depth has hurt the White Sox in recent years, so Mendick is getting an opportunity to show he can be a quality roster piece.
Brought up Sept. 3 after batting .279/.368/.444 with 26 doubles, 17 home runs, 64 RBI, 75 runs scored and 66 walks in 133 games with Class AAA Charlotte, the 25-year-old Mendick is off to a solid start in the majors.
The 5-foot-10, 195-pounder hit his first home run Sunday and is 5-for-14 (.357) in five games with the Sox.
"You work hard your whole life for things," Mendick said. "To actually get here, it's awesome. It's a dream come true. I'm really grateful for every moment of it."
Mendick has played second base, shortstop and third since joining the White Sox. A player with similar skills as ex-Sox Tyler Saladino, Mendick also played 9 games in left field for Charlotte this year.
"I'll catch if they need me to," he said. "I don't want to be stuck in one position. The versatility is going to help me out in the long run."
If the long run comes with the White Sox and Mendick continues to produce at the plate and in the field, the rebuild will get an added boost.
"He impressed me in spring training," bench coach Joe McEwing said. "I could not be happier for him. Cheers to the scouting department, player development and Danny Mendick. He's a real confident kid that believes in his ability.
"He loves every opportunity that he gets, and he takes advantage of it."