Iowa right-handed pitcher Blake Hickman was drafted in the seventh round of the 2015 MLB Draft by the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday.
The 6-foot-5 hurler attended high school at Simeon Academy on Chicago’s south side, and now will have the chance to play for his hometown team.
Hickman was a staple in the Hawkeyes’ starting rotation this season, finishing at 9-2 and posting an ERA of 2.99 in 16 starts.
Previously, the junior had been a two-way player before switching solely into a pitching role in 2014. He started five games and appeared in 12 more that season, finishing with a 3.93 ERA.
Hickman’s other hometown team, the Cubs, originally drafted him as a catcher in 2012 in round 20. But as he made the switch to the mound, scouts became intrigued by his big frame (220 lbs.) and his potential as a power pitcher, especially after he topped out at 96 mph.
However, this spring the interest dropped slightly, as Hickman failed to keep his velocity late in games and struggled controlling his breaking ball.
Even so, his physical ability gives him the potential to move up the minor league system of the White Sox, and a chance to play professional ball for the city he grew up in.