The next MLB Draft prospect up in the series is Evan White of Kentucky. Aside from hitting right-handed, he’s almost a spitting image of Cody Bellinger, but his pre-draft profile is a bit different.
6’3, 177 pounds
Position: First base/outfield
DOB: April 26, 1996
Slot recommended bonus (No. 23): $2,702,700
Editor’s Note: All information of draft prospects compiled from Internet sources, scouting reports and video.
The first thing that stands out about White is his lanky frame. He’s tall and has a ton of room for projection. Because of that, folks are dreaming on his future potential. He’s one of the top college bats available in a draft that is lacking in those in the early rounds.
At the plate, White looks like a natural hitter. His swing is short, compact and generates a lot of line drives. He has some gap pop, but it remains to be seen if any of that pop turns into over-the-fence power. He employs a small leg-kick from a slightly open stance. His hands are held at ear-level and he raises them slightly before he swings. His swing path is level and he does a good job of squaring the ball up. The Dodgers have shown an ability to develop hitters and adjust their swing paths to generate more pop, so it wouldn’t be surprising if they were able to do this with White. He doesn’t project to have a ton of swing-and-miss in his game and has a good eye at the plate.
White is extremely athletic for a first baseman, and that has some wondering if he might be better in the outfield. The thing is, he might not be a great fit in center field, and with his contact-over-power offensive profile, that might not play well in an outfield corner (or first base). But he’s a superb defender at first base — reminiscent of Bellinger. On the base paths, he’s a 50-55 runner who is better underway.
Here’s a clip of his athleticism from last night:
— Michael Lananna (@mlananna) May 19, 2017
Videos courtesy of 2080 Baseball and rkyosh007.
White played against some of the best competition in college baseball in the SEC, so this isn’t a case of him pummeling lesser competition. He could be a fast-riser come draft day, though, his rankings don’t really reflect a guy — right now — who will be gone before the 23rd pick.
As a junior, he could go back to school, but if he’s offered a slot-level deal, that should get him out of his senior year at Kentucky. With an advanced bat, he could move quicker than other draftees. And seeing as there are so few right-handed college hitters with premium bats, he might be well worth the Dodgers’ first selection.