It is unusual for a first baseman to be one of the most athletic players in your organization. However; when the Seattle Mariners drafted Evan White at 17th overall in the 2017 draft, it became a fact.
Truth be told, there is nothing usual about Evan White. He is a left handed first baseman who hits right handed. White’s speed is a better tool than his power. The Mariners hope he can reach his potential and be a gold glove first baseman who is athletic enough to play centerfield.
White is no slouch at the plate. He generates good bat speed and has a sound approach at the plate. He hits to all fields and takes his walks, which should lead to an ability to hit for average. Power might be his weakest tool, though he should still be able to hit 20 HR’s in 600 AB’s.
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White’s defense is a double plus tool, and he might already be the best defensive first baseman in all of professional baseball. His arm and athleticism could facilitate a move to the outfield, but the Mariners will allow him to play first for the time being.
White run tool is well above average. He is a skilled base runner, and could steal 20 bases on a yearly basis. White cuts the bases and shows good instincts on the bases, and will not clog the basepaths like Mariners first baseman of the past.
Finding a comp is tough for White, thanks to his odd profile. Dan O’Dowd of MLB Network believes there is some AJ Pollock in his game, while Jason Churchill of Prospect Insider likens him to Christian Yelich. Some have even compared him to Dodgers rookie sensation Cody Bellinger.
A high floor pick, White could make his debut in 2019, and could be the everyday first baseman by 2020.