Evan White | 1B
The 21-year-old White was not drafted out of an Ohio high school back in 2014. He is a career .354/.413/.522 hitter with 16 home runs and 18 stolen bases in 157 career games at Kentucky, which includes a .368/.450/.627 batting line and nine homers in 51 games this spring.
White has a very unique profile. He’s a right-handed hitter and a left-handed thrower, and at the plate he stands out more for his pure hitting ability than his power. The opposite is usually true for most first base prospects. His bat speed and level swing allow him to spray the ball from foul pole and foul pole, and there’s some thought that once he gets into a pro training program and adds muscle to his lanky 6-foot-3, 177 lb. fame, the ball will start carrying over the fence more often. White is a very good athlete and runner, so much so that some believe he could move to center field in pro ball. His hands and footwork around the first base bag are Gold Glove caliber. When you think about a first base prospect, the first thing that comes to mind is a brute masher with power. That’s not White. He’s very well-rounded with the biggest current shortcoming being over-the-fence power.
White has been among the most notable risers in the draft class this spring. He’s been climbing draft boards steadily. Baseball America ranks him as the 12th best prospect in the draft class while MLB.com ranks him 18th and Keith Law (subs. req’d) ranks him 33rd. The Yankees hold the 16th overall pick. College bats are always in demand and I get the sense White will be off the board before the Yankees get a chance to pick. If not, betting on his pure hitting ability and athleticism would be a pretty interesting move for the Yankees, especially if they think he can handle center field.