Laurila: Seattle’s Evan White angles up, sort of

From SABR member David Laurila at FanGraphs on May 10, 2020:

Evan White was playing in his first full professional season when I interviewed him 24 months ago. I went on to write that White “not only bats right and throws left, he’s a first baseman whose athleticism and offensive skill set are more akin to that of a center fielder.” My esteemed colleague Eric Longenhagen had recently called the University of Kentucky product “perhaps the 2017 draft’s most unique player.”

Two years later, White is No. 4 on our Mariners Top Prospects list, and No. 64 on our 2020 Top 100 Prospects list. Moreover, he’s projected to begin the season — assuming there is a season — in Seattle’s starting lineup. If so, he’ll have leapfrogged Triple-A. White spent last year at Double-A Arkansas where he slashed .293/.350/.488, with 18 home runs in 400 plate appearances.

The introduction to the 2018 interview also included the line, “Last June’s 17th overall pick doesn’t project to hit for much power.” As evidenced by the aforementioned output, that’s now looking to be untrue. White’s swing is proving to be more lethal than expected — this despite his not having retooled it toward that end.

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Originally published: May 12, 2020. Last Updated: May 12, 2020.