White missed the majority of the 2021 season with a significant hip injury, but the 25-year-old is considered a major part of the Mariners’ future; he signed an ultra-rare 6-year, $24 million contract before the 2020 season, without ever playing above Double-A.
Despite struggling at the plate during his young career (.165 BA in 279 ABs), White’s advanced metrics show that he has the ability to make consistently hard contact, and he took home the AL Gold Glove at first base after the shortened 2020 season.
With Ty France holding down first base at a high level in 2021, Evan White may need to convert to the outfield if he hopes to have a future in Seattle.
Ty France put up All-Star level numbers at first base for the Mariners this season, and with the Mariners rumored to be interested in infielders this offseason, it appears his home will continue to be at first for the foreseeable future. White is great in the field, but until his offensive productivity comes around, he won’t be competing with France for the starting job.
As such, the outfield in Seattle remains a question mark: Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez are expected to be locks for years to come, but young players such as Taylor Trammell, Jake Fraley, and Zach DeLoach are unproven, Mitch Haniger is a free agent next offseason, and Kyle Lewis is battling serious knee issues. The Mariners’ outfield has always seemed crowded, but in reality, it’s open for business.
Evan White has the athleticism to move to the outfield, and as a left-handed thrower, learning the ropes in the outfield would certainly make a positive impact on his overall value. He’s expected to start next season in the minor leagues as he continues to recover from hip surgery, but if his offense improves and he shows newfound defensive versatility, there’s a good chance we’ll see White join Seattle’s outfield ranks next year.