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Rodon eager to get going with White Sox organization

By Colleen Kane
Chicago Tribune

ANAHEIM, Calif. Carlos Rodon is still in the getting-to-know-you phase with the Chicago White Sox, but the pitcher the club made the No. 3 overall pick in the draft has learned a thing or two from afar about his potential future teammates.

“Most interaction was just watching them on TV and watching Jose Abreu hit some bombs,” Rodon said Friday via conference call.

The left-hander from N.C. State said he was sitting on the couch with family, friends, former coaches and teammates when his name was called Thursday evening in the first-year player draft. That he had dropped to third in the draft after being considered a potential top pick at the beginning of the college season didn’t dampen the moment, he said.

“Everyone started clapping and got excited,” Rodon said. “It was a good feeling.

“I wouldn’t say there was disappointment (of not going first). I would say motivation. I got picked by a great club with a lot of history. Looking forward to it.”

Rodon rattled off a list of Sox players he knew but he said he didn’t know how soon he might be able to join them. There has been some speculation that Rodon could take a path similar to Sox left-hander Chris Sale, who joined the team as a relief pitcher two months after he was drafted out of Florida Gulf Coast University. Rodon said such a quick journey “would be kind of cool” but acknowledged later the organization would decide.

Represented by Scott Boras, Rodon didn’t delve into how much difficulty the Sox might have signing him.

“I’m not really sure,” Rodon said. “That’s later down the road, in a month or so. We’ll figure that out. I’m still trying to enjoy this moment, spend time with my family. Enjoy the whole thing and let it sink in.”

Rodon is coming off a junior season that wasn’t what he had hoped. He went 6-7 with a 2.01 ERA and 117 strikeouts over 98 2/3 innings.

“My performance this year didn’t live up to expectations, and I guess that happens sometimes,” Rodon said. “It’s a game of failure. You fail more than you succeed. I had some tough breaks this season, but that’s baseball. I still get to play some more games this year, and we’ll see how that goes.”

White Sox manager Robin Ventura said before his team’s series opener against the Angels on Friday night that some excitement comes with the selection of Rodon.

“We drafted a guy we felt was the best talent. That gets you excited,” Ventura said. “As painful as it is to know we got the third pick and how we got it, at least we get something out of it. Hopefully he’ll be here soon and be here for a while.”

Meanwhile, the draft continued Friday with the Sox selecting Oregon State left-hander Jace Fry in the third round. Fry, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound junior, returned from 2012 elbow surgery to go 11-2 with a 1.80 ERA and 98 strikeouts in 120 1/3 innings this season.

In the fourth round, the Sox selected catcher Brett Austin, Rodon’s teammate at N.C. State.

Through the 10th round, they also picked Texas-Arlington right-hander Zach Thompson, San Diego outfielder Louie Lechich, Creighton shortstop Jake Peter, Long Island-Brooklyn shortstop John Ziznewski, Kent State left-hander Brian Clark and Klein Collins (Texas) High School second baseman Jake Jarvis.

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