Every Friday we will be doing a profile and analysis of a farmhand on our team. We will look at their background, the kinds of future projections scouts generally have about them, associated risk with them booming or busting, and then our personal take on what they will most likely become as a ball player. We will do one a week up until pitchers and catchers report, and will be counting down our top ten prospects (more or less who I see to be our top ten).
Today we are covering our #5 prospect Mitchell White.
- Name: Mitchell White
- DOB/Age: December 28, 1994 – 23 years old
- Height/Weight: 6’4″/207lbs
- Home State/Country: California
- Highest Level Reached: AA
- On the 40-Man Roster: No
- ETA: 2019
Other Notable Rankings
- Baseball America: #4
- Baseball Prospectus: #7
- MLB.com: #7
- TrueBlueLA: #5
- Dodgers Digest: #4 (mid-season)
(1-10, with 1 being very low, and 10 being very high)
3 – Mitchell White was viewed and drafted as a polished college arm with high floor and fair upside. That view remains true, and has become even better. Now instead of flashing a #3 type pitcher upside, he flashes #2 potential. Because he shows so much polish his floor is very high – a good late inning reliever. His clean delivery means low injury-risk, and he already has three average or better pitches. For Mitchell White it isn’t a matter of if he contributes to the big league club, it is only a matter of when.
Born and raised in San Jose, California Mitchell White rings in as the first college arm on our top 10 prospect list. Taken 65th overall in the 2016 Draft out of Santa Clara University, White has surpassed many expectations, maybe even his own. After being drafted White was able to start his professional career with 31 scoreless innings. During these 31 innings White put up 41 strikeouts against 10 walks. Certainly impressive numbers. So after reaching High-A Rancho Cucamonga White spent the early part of the season there.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) April 8, 2017
Because of his success (3.91 ERA, 11.4 K/9, 3.7 BB/9), he was able to make it to AA Tulsa by mid-season. So for the remainder of the season he put up a 2.57 ERA over 28 innings to finish out 2017. As a result expectations going into 2018 will be that White can reach all the way to AAA.
Mitchell White does have 3 solid, average to plus pitches: his fastball, his cutter, and his curveball. The fastball currently sits in the mid 90s, and has a great deal of spin and movement which makes it an above-average offering. However, the best of his offerings is probably his high 80s, low 90s cutter. It has phenomenal movement and can be extremely difficult for batters to square up. Since it comes out of his hand looking very similar to his fastball it can be difficult for hitters to pick it up as well.
Lastly we have his curveball. It is definitely a solid pitch that he can throw for strikes, but it doesn’t have a ton of bend in it. Because of this, it is more of a pitch to give batters a different look than being a true strikeout pitch at this point. White also has a change-up that is just slightly below average at this point. If he can improve the change-up as well, it would give him yet another tool in his arsenal.
With a very repeatable delivery, White has no issues with consistent control. Though his control did dip in AA in 2017, he still has shown enough ability to control his pitches that he will never have issues with walking too many batters.
Like stated above in his risk assessment, Mitchell White has a high-floor. Because of his plus cutter being a great strikeout pitch, that late-inning reliever floor is reasonable. That, combined with his polish and steady progression, makes him a sure bet to likely contribute one way or another by 2019. 2018 will be a great season for him to continue to trend upwards. In 2017 he did struggle a bit at Rancho Cucamonga, but he was able to rebound and perform even better at AA Tulsa. If he can continue to pitch well and move up through the system, he will certainly be a top 5, if not top 3, prospect by years end. Especially if guys like Buehler and Verdugo graduate from their prospect status.