Catcher Collins, Downers Grove native Burdi picked by White Sox in 1st round of MLB Draft

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The White Sox selected Downers Grove native Zack Burdi with the 26th overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft.

CHICAGO – For the first time, it was Nick Hostetler’s call to make when the White Sox came on the clock Thursday night.

An assistant scouting director for the White Sox since 2012, Hostetler now was the Director of Amateur Scouting for the White Sox and took the lead with the White Sox’s two first-round picks in the MLB Draft.

He told WGN’s Josh Frydman about his hopes for his first selections after a number of years as a scout for the White Sox and Braves.

On Thursday night he divided up his first selections evenly: One big hitter and a pitcher.

With the tenth overall pick the White Sox snagged Miami catcher Zack Collins, who was named a  first-team All-American by Baseball America this season. Using the pick the team received from the Giants after they signed Jeff Samardzija, the White Sox looked local as they selected Downers Grove native and Louisville pitcher Zack Burdi from Louisville with the 26th pick.

A junior with the Cardinals, Burdi has an 8-3 overall record in three seasons in Louisville with a 1.98 ERA and 20 saves in 59 appearances. In 2016 he’s got a 2.20 ERA with 11 saves in helping the Cardinals advance to the NCAA Super Regional this weekend against US Santa Barbara.

“He possesses dynamic stuff with a fastball that has reached 102, a plus slider and a devastating changeup,” said Hostetler in a release from the team. “We’ve known him for a long time, we’ve scouted him since high school, and we love his tremendous leadership and work ethic.”

Collins has enjoyed a successful three seasons at Miami and has been especially strong for the Hurricanes in 2016 as he’s hitting .358 with 13 homers and 53 RBIs. He also has the unique distinction of leading the NCAA in walks with 69 and ranking fifth in on-base percentage (.534).

“Extremely excited to add a player with Zack’s catching ability and middle of the order bat to our organization,” said Hostetler of Collins in a release from the team. “He was our number one target since April, and we are very happy that he was there for our selection with the 10th pick.”