In the compensation round of baseball’s player draft the White Sox selected Keon Barnum from King High School in Florida. The announcers at MLB-TV compared the lefty Barnum to power hitting first baseman Ryan Howard. Barnum is 19 years old, 6’ 5” tall, and 225 pounds of lean muscle.
Branum and 1st round pick Courtney Hawkins could replace Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn as the power source for the White Sox in the future. Barnum, though, is no lock for stardom. Earlier this year ESPN reported that Barnum was not showing a consistent ability to recognize and adjust to the breaking ball and is limited to first base defensively. But, no one can deny that Barnum possess great bat speed and the ball jumps off the barrel of his bat. For an example of Barnum’s power see this blast he hit as a junior in high school. That year he hit nearly .500 and began getting the attention of scouts.
In October, Barnum verbally committed to the University of Miami, but recently sounded interested in blasting baseballs in the pro circuit as soon as possible. He told reporters, “That’s my dream. It’s what I’ve been dreaming for, to go play pro ball.” He worked out for six major league teams. “The Dodgers and the White Sox I feel like I did my best,” Barnum said. “I felt like I hit the ball well both of those two days, those two workouts. I feel like I showed my power pretty well.”
Barnum was the 48th overall selection and was compensation for the loss of free agent pitcher Mark Buehrle to Miami. For a more extensive video of Barum look at this 7 minute video of the youngster.