White’s abnormalities have been well-documented. Seattle’s first-rounder in 2017 from the University of Kentucky, he’s unique for a 1B prospect in that he hits right (but throws left), runs well, and didn’t show blow-the-doors-off power as an amateur. Coming off a season where he slashed .303/.375/.458 in the Cal League, I’ve gotten long looks at White both in Fall League last year and in Spring Training leading up to 2019.
Before he slugged .703 in the last month of 2018, White’s power numbers in High-A were meddling. He’s clearly trying to get to more game power, having moved to a more aggressive swing that utilizes a leg-kick to generate force. White whistles the bat through the zone and takes a strong cut, though it’s one that may have gotten away from the barrel control that was his bread-and-butter as an amateur. He waves through well-placed off-speed, and I’ve seen a healthy amount of swing/miss across numerous looks as he’s working through this swing change. He’ll hit for some average, the question is whether there’s enough home run power to produce the way many 1B are expected to. White’s above-average athleticism for the position is on display in other facets of the game. He’s an excellent defender at 1B with great mobility and playmaking skill, to the point some scouts want to see him try a corner outfield spot.
White is a divisive prospect given his unusual profile. If he does wind up a regular at 1B, it won’t be the hulking, slow-footed, patience-and-power type that’s common in today’s era. It will be interesting to see how his bat develops with another year of pro reps. If the lack of power becomes a serious hindrance closer to the big leagues, Seattle could try White at a few positions to increase his versatility.