Celebrating Draft Day: White Sox Call Up '07 First-Round Pick

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Celebrating Draft Day: White Sox Call Up '07 First-Round Pick
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

As the White Sox enter the 2009 amateur draft, fans may get a chance to see the results of the team's first-round pick from 2007.

Aaron Poreda's last appearance at Double-A Birmingham was a gem—six innings of shutout ball against the Montgomery Biscuits, an affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Poreda will next take the mound in the big leagues, just two years after being selected by the Chicago White Sox.

General Manager Kenny Williams made the decision Monday to call up Poreda after consecutive poor outings by fifth starter Bartolo Colon and ineffective relief appearances by Sox farmhand Wes Whisler.

Whisler was optioned back to Triple-A Charlotte on Monday to make room on the starting roster for veteran starting pitcher José Contreras. Colon was placed on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation of the left knee.

It remains unclear what Poreda's role with the Major League club will be.

The only bright spot for the White Sox in the 2009 season has been the bullpen, ranked third in the AL with a cumulative 3.65 ERA, and Poreda could replace spot-starter Clayton Richard, who may stick in the rotation, as a left-handed middle relief option.

Poreda has been dominant as a starting pitcher in Double-A, striking out 135 batters and allowing only six home runs in 115 innings at Birmingham between 2008 and 2009.

However, Poreda's "stuff" profiles more effectively out of the bullpen, with a fastball clocked at 98 mph and a hard slider.

Other teams have had top pitching prospects work out of the bullpen over recent years. Joba Chamberlain of the Yankees and David Price (first pick overall in the 2007 draft) have both worked high-leverage relief innings for their teams after being called up.

Price and Chamberlain both made their first Major League starts the season after their debuts.

Poreda Not Alone Among First Round Picks

Aaron Poreda joins 10 other former first round draft picks on the White Sox major league roster.

3B Josh Fields (2004), OF Brian Anderson (2003), and SS Gordon Beckham (2008) were all first round draft picks for the White Sox. Beckham made his major league debut on June 4, less than a year after being selected and signed out of the 2008 amateur draft.

Recent acquisition, backup catcher Ramón Castro, was a first round pick for Houston in the 1994 draft.

Other former first round draft picks include 1B Paul Konerko (1994, Los Angeles Dodgers), and pitchers John Danks (2003, Texas Rangers),  Gavin Floyd (2001, Philadelphia Phillies), and Matt Thornton (1998, Seattle Mariners).

OF Carlos Quentin, a first round draft pick for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2003, was placed on the disabled list retroactive to May 26 with plantar fasciitis of the left foot.

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