Hello, and welcome to another episode of “The Giants Probably Aren’t Going To Take This Player You’ve Never Heard Of, But Let’s Talk About Him Anyway.” Why? Because it’s fun! What’s even better is to decide on a favorite draft target and then follow him over the years. This is what I did with Marcus Stroman and Justin Smoak. And I get to pretend like I was right about Stroman while ignoring that I wouldn’t have drafted Buster Posey. Win-win!
The topic for today is Evan White, a first baseman from the University of Kentucky. He makes baseballs go “PING!”
Keith Law had the Giants taking White with his latest mock draft:
White is a plus defender at first who runs well enough that many scouts think he would play well in the outfield -- like Cody Bellinger -- and he has shown an improved approach across the board this year.
And MLB.com has the Giants taking him:
White's name gets mentioned a lot here, and the Giants do like him, but they might hope someone from above gets down to them
White is hitting .366/.439/.629 with eight homers in 186 at-bats for the Wildcats this year, and while right-handed power should be attractive to the Giants, considering that left-handed power is gobbled alive by AT&T Park, scouts aren’t sure about his ability to hit for power.
John Sickels also notes that it would be a shame to move White from the position:
As interesting as the bat is, White stands out for his defense: he is a terrific defender at first base, a possible gold glover if he hits enough to play regularly in the majors. Both his arm strength and running speed are impressive and he would be an above-average defender at either outfield corner.
His running speed is impressive, eh? Looks like this video from 2080 Baseball has him at 4.28 seconds from home to first. Which is nearly two-tenths of a second slower than Jean Machi. So either White isn’t that fast, or Machi is surprisingly fast.
(The answer is that Machi is surprisingly fast, and I will never, ever pass up an opportunity to point this out.)
Baseball America has White as the 12th-best prospect available, but points out that red flag again:
White projects as an above-average or even plus hitter. But scouts do understandably wonder about White's power. He generally earns fringe-average power grades from scouts and he's never reached double digits in home runs at Kentucky.
If I’m drafting a first baseman, gimme that plus power. Baseball America spends the first chunk of his scouting report talking about his slick defense, which seems great, but re-reading that paragraph, it sure seems like they’re talking about a right-handed J.T. Snow. Which wouldn’t be ideal.
At the same time, it would be fun for the Giants to pick a polished college hitter that has a chance to move quickly through the organization, so color me slightly intrigued. I think slightly intrigued is like a fuschia with a little more blue. A line-drive hitter with barely enough power sounds like a very Giants pick, but maybe that’s a little cynical with Chris Shaw currently thriving in the organization.
It’s also worth pointing out that people absolutely had no faith in Buster Posey’s ability to hit for power, and while he never was a 30-homer hitter, he certainly acquitted himself well in that department.
I’m still pretty sure the Giants are going to draft Brendon Little, and I’m also pretty sure that I’m not moving from my LOGAN WARMOTH choice. Though Jake Burger is making a pretty strong argument. And while we’re on the subject, if you ate a burger made out of war moths, would it kill you or give you superpowers? My DMs are open.
For now, though, here’s a note that two mock drafts have the Giants as being interested in Evan White. You’ve been alerted to this fact and are expected to act accordingly.