The Dodgers have the best record in baseball and are on pace to tie the record for most regular season wins in Major League Baseball history.
Even after trading a number of prospects to acquire Yu Darvish, Tony Watson, and Tony Cingrani at the trade deadline, the Dodgers still have a strong farm system which should allow them to sustain success for years to come. One name that continues to stand out is Mitchell White. A right handed starter out of Santa Clara, White was drafted in the 2nd round in 2016. In his two full seasons as a professional, White has dominated every level he has been assigned to. It’s time to stop thinking of him as another name in the organization, and start thinking of where he will fit in the big club in the years to come.
Although he does not have the same name recognition and standing as Walker Buehler or Yadier Alvarez, White has continued to perform and is moving up the farm system on his way to Los Angeles. He is currently ranked as the sixth best prospect in the Dodgers’ system by mlb.com. On Thursday night, White made his 5th start in Tulsa and 17th start overall on the season. His first start in Tulsa was a little shaky due to shoddy command, but he has settled in nicely since then. He lasted only three innings on Thursday as he is on a pitch limit in an attempt to minimize the amount of innings he throws this year. But it was another solid effort as he allowed only 4 hits and 1 run while walking 1 batter and striking out 4. The lone run came on the first home run he has allowed in his professional career. He lowered his AA era on the season to 1.80 on the season. In fact, his career minor league era now stands at 2.05 while batters are hitting just .154 off him. His WHIP is a miniscule 0.89 and he is striking out more than three times as many hitters as he is walking. His fastball sits in the mid 90s and his curveball is a legitimate strikeout weapon. He is still working on developing a slider and changeup which would help him stay in the starting rotation long term.
Starting the 2018 year in AAA Oklahoma City seems very plausible for White at this point. The Dodgers have a surplus of starters signed through next year but if White keeps performing at the same rate, he might make a push to crack the rotation by the end of 2018. The Dodgers plan to keep him as a starter but don’t be surprised if he makes his debut as a power arm out of the bullpen. White is exciting as any prospect in the Dodgers’ system. He has the upside to be a #2 starter in the majors and is only 22 years old. Whether he debuts in the bullpen or in the starting rotation, White is sure to make an impact for L.A. in the near future.