The Seattle Mariners need to start hitting on their first round picks. In 2017, they used the 17th overall pick on a right-handed hitting, left-handed throwing first baseman from Kentucky.
Evan White, is an unusual prospect. He, like many first baseman, is left-handed, yet he hits right-handed. Unlike many first baseman, White has plus speed, and power is his most questionable tool. In short, Evan White is an extremely good athlete.
So good, in fact, that many scouts see White as a solid above-average corner outfielder who could play centerfield if needed. The Mariners intend to let White stick at first base, which increases his overall value to the team.
In fact, White’s best tool is his defense. He grades as double plus at first, and could win a Gold Glove in MLB this year. We already saw a glimpse of his ability in Spring Training:
At the plate, White continues with his unusual 1B profile. White slugged just 17 homers in 3 seasons at Kentucky, and his power tool is his biggest question mark. However, 10 of the 17 home runs came in 2017, as well as 3 during his short stint in Everett.
With a flatter swing more suited to contact, White still posses good bat speed and can use his 6’3″ frame to generate leverage. White had no problem getting extra base hits in college, posting a career .171 ISO. There is still some projectability on his frame, and as he get stronger, the power should continue to grow.
Scouting Grades(20-80)- Hit: 55 Power: 50 Run: 60 Field: 70 Arm: 55 Overall: 55 Future Potential: 60 ETA: Late 2019 or 2020
White flashed well in his pro debut, slashing .277/.345/.532 in 14 games at Everett, before missing the remainder of the season with a quad issue. Andy McKay has already stated that White will start the year in “full season” ball. The safe bet is in Clinton, but a strong spring could push White to High-A ball in Modesto.
The Mariners will be careful not to rush White, and with Ryon Healy, Dan Vogelbach, and Mike Ford under control for 5+ years, there is no reason to force a promotion. A good first half could push White to AA Arkansas by the end of 2018, but assume he spends the year between Clinton and Modesto.