The fourth pick of Day 1 of the 2016 MLB Draft resulted in the Dodgers landing a small-college right-hander in Mitchell White.
White, like Jordan Sheffield, is a redshirt sophomore and a Tommy John surgery survivor. He threw 92 innings for Santa Clara University and struck out 118 while walking just 27. Baseball America ranked him at No. 138 in their Top 500 draft prospects. Similarly to No. 32 selection Will Smith, White had some late helium that boosted him into the draft’s first day.
Here’s what BA had to say about him:
“White’s fastball sat 89-93 mph early in the year, with crosscheckers seeing him top out at 94, his velocity jumped in his final two starts. His heater sat at 91-95 while touching 96 10 times in his last start at Brigham Young. In a 15-strikeout effort at Portland, in which he threw 74 of his 100 pitches for strikes, he drew swings-and-misses with four offerings: fastball, upper-80s cutter (which at times morphs into a low-80s, loopy slider), upper-70s hard curve with 12-to-6 shape and a new changeup he just started throwing in late March. Scouts like the cutter best among his secondary pitches but worry about his lack of track record and long arm action. White has some athleticism and a good pitcher’s frame at 6-foot-4, 207 pounds.”
His fastball velocity is plenty acceptable for a starting pitcher. It seems like he has some work to do with his hard breaking ball. He’ll need to either tighten up the slider version of it or get the cutter to be more defined. His curveball sounds promising and his newly added changeup sounds intriguing. He has a nice 4-pitch mix that will definitely play in a starting rotation.
Mitchell White might not be a household name, #Dodgers take big arm from Santa Clara who we were told was up to 97 while digging up names.
— Jheremy Brown (@JBrownPG) June 10, 2016
White’s frame is definitely conducive to starting. There isn’t much projection left in it, but he could add a few good pounds to make himself more durable as a starter in the professional ranks.
The lack of track record against better competition is somewhat concerning, but he certainly wouldn’t be the first small-school pitcher to have success in the majors. The slot-recommended bonus for the 65th pick is $993,800. White probably won’t take much more to sign than that. I’m not sure there’s any bonus pool savings in this pick, though.
Day 2 of the MLB Draft will be underway later today. Expect to see a lot of money-saving picks — especially as we get closer to the 9th and 10th round.