Evan White 2017 MLB Draft Profile

University of Kentucky first baseman Evan White (#19) stretches out to make the play during a college baseball game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Kentucky Wildcats on March 28, 2017, at Cliff Hagan Stadium in Lexington, KY.

Evan White is a 21-year-old first baseman for the Kentucky Wildcats. As one of the top prospects in this year’s MLB Draft, White has the potential to move and play several different positions, which could raise his overall value to an organization. Not only is White a plus defender, but a plus runner as well.

Evan White 2017 MLB Draft Profile

Overview

Evan White was born on April 26, 1996 (21), and lived in Gahanna, Ohio where he attended Gahanna Lincoln high school. While in high school, White was listed at 6-3, and 170 pounds with a lanky frame.

Scouts rave about his potential and what he’ll be capable of as he continues to fill out. Majority of the scouts agree that White is one of the top collegiate bats available in this year’s MLB Draft, something they say is missing in the early rounds. White is considered a “natural hitter,” who has a short-compacted swing that produces a lot of line drives.

White’s batting stance has an open stance along with a small leg-kick, and despite holding his hands near his helmet, it helps him with his power. It also provides him with a swing path that is very level, which allows him to square up with the ball and showcase his ability. White definitely has enough pop in his bat to go gap-to-gap, but scouts wonder if that pop can turn into line drives that will go over the fences as he gets oldest and stronger.

Scouts project White as someone who won’t have a lot of swing-and-misses at the plate, which they attribute to White’s eye and approach to hitting. For a first baseman, White is extremely athletic. Causing some scouts to see him as a corner outfielder, whereas other scouts don’t think he’d make a good outfielder, regardless how strong his arm is. While at Kentucky, White and the Wildcats played against some of the toughest competition in the SEC.

Don’t be surprised on Draft day if Evan White is a fast riser, as he’s expected to go 23rd. As a freshman with the Wildcats, White quickly earned a spot in Kentucky’s lineup and improved his production every single season. In 599 at-bats with the Wildcats, the lanky first baseman hit .359/.414/.528 and including .391/.467/.679 in 156 at-bats this season while dealing with a hamstring injury that limited his playing time.

Strengths

Even though White has gotten stronger, his swing is more designed for line drives than for home runs. Opinions are mixed among scouts about how much home run power White will have as a professional. The one thing that the scouts agree on, however, is his ability to hit for a high batting average through any level. As good as White is at the plate, it’s his defense at first base that really stands out. Many scouts believe if White gets enough playing time in the majors, then a Golden Glove Award is inevitable.

Weaknesses

The biggest weakness the scouts see when it comes to White is his lack of potential for hitting home runs. Another knock on White is the swing-and-miss. Even though Evan White dominated college ball, he may not have what scouts call a “premium bat.” Plus some scouts are concerned about his strikeout rate, which is something he’ll have to work hard to overcome. With that being said, scouts do see a very polished hitter who has a terrific approach at the plate.

In his three years with Kentucky, White’s strikeout rate decreased in every season, which should give teams confidence that they could help develop him into a more complete hitter.

MLB Comparison

Kevin White has a unique profile all his own, which makes it difficult to compare him with another first baseman in MLB. However, if he lives up to his potential, you might be able to compare him to Joe Mauer – someone who hits for a high average, who hits a lot of doubles (given White’s ability to go gap-to-gap), as well as someone who’ll take a lot of walks.

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