April 7th, 2017. Mitch White took the mound for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes against the Stockton Ports. In 4 innings, he walked three batters, struck out five, and gave up no hits.
Org/Level: LAD, Hi-A
The right hander from San Jose had Tommy John surgery in his senior year of high school. After a full year of recovery at Santa Clara, White threw 32 innings of relief in 2015 as a redshirt freshman. In 2016, White took on his first full starter workload, logging 92 innings across 15 starts. White's slider was the attention grabber and with flashes of high velocity (reportedly touched 96 mph), the Dodgers selected White with the 65th overall pick.
Aggressive and constantly in attack mode. Has exceptional confidence on the mound and treats all 3 pitches as if they were his primary pitches.
6'4" with even, athletic physique and proportions. Moderately broad shoulders and muscular.
Athleticism - Excellent
Most exceptional aspect of White. Looks like a 6'0" pitcher in how spry, balanced and quick he is but has the strength and power of someone his size.
Delivery - Good
Very structured and repeats well. Works from the 1B side of the rubber with a quick rocker step, leg lift and long stride. Lands firm slightly towards 3B and finishes over front leg. Balance, strength and quickness in motion. Over course of outing he did start to get more and more towards 3B, losing his release pt and missing arm side.
Arm Action - Good
Spreads arms with quick and wide loop in the back to get up to hi 3/4 release. Despite quick acceleration, very little snap or jerk in motion. Clean and smooth albeit powerful. Some concern with how White finishes his motion with all deceleration on his arm. Short-armed/sudden hold up on the finish. Have heard some rumblings of health concern regarding this. Difficult to put a weight on something post-release, I personally think if it becomes a health-issue it would be something he could adjust without losing what makes him unique.
Deception - Fair
Takes ball out of the glove and shows in the back relatively early. Still gets some deception from quickness in overall delivery.
Pitchability/Feel - Good
Knows that his curveball is always in his back pocket. Establishes fastball and threatens with the curveball throughout the AB. Mixes in slider to keep batters off the FB. Has the quality of weapons to treat any of the three as his out pitch.
Velo: 93-97, 95 avg.
Movement: 2SM has light run and 4SM has natural cut and sink. Strong life through the zone.
Use: Works to both sides of the plate, can elevate and bury. Command waned around 45-50 pitches but shows confidence in ability to establish both sides regardless of batter handedness. Will use the 2SM or 4SM outside to LHH and has enough angle (from 1B rubber) and slight movement to get the pitch moving away from LH bats.
Velo: 79-83, 81 avg.
Movement: Powerful 12/6 break. Flat out of hand and the bottom drops out. Wipeout, swing/miss pitch. One of the best curves in the MLB if he was there today.
Use: Excellent command of sharp break but could improve side-side command. Primary use below the zone and steals 1st pitch strikes. Leaves armside often and could improve use up higher in zone. Dominant pitch how its used, but could threaten with ability to use in more parts of the zone. Has more confidence than actual control at the moment but has such a great feel for break it's hard not to see excellent command of the pitch in his future.
Velo: 90-93, 91 avg.
Movement: More traditional 12/6 arc armside or a sharp cutter movement glove side.
Use: Threw about 10% of the time in this outing but served as the dark horse pitch. Used in on LHH primarily. Doesn't have a ton of distance from his 4SM given natural cut, but shows enough sink to shine as its own pitch.
White demonstrated strong presence in the zone to open his start. Though he faded into the edges/fringes of the zone, he showed that he could re-write the ship and get his pitches back in the zone without losing command or velocity. Given the speed andthus narrow margin for error in White's delivery, it's difficult to project absolutely pinpoint control as a SP.
Mitch White is a spry, twitchy 6'4" RHS seen on a cold night in Stockton. White is a far more advanced arm than should be in Hi-A and should be moved quickly up the farm system. He currently has a powerful 3-pitch arsenal, though most of his movement is more North-South. Does not appear he has a changeup, but not sure he will need one. The Curveball is truly exceptional and will miss bats at any level. The fastball is electric and he shows signs of commanding it to all parts of the zone. With White the primary question is durability with respect to his command/delivery. Given his athleticism and body control, I think White will be able to get stronger and get deeper into games.
He's got very little movement to employ away from LHH, but the angle he creates with his higher slot from the 1B side should enable enough of his stuff to play on the outer third of the plate to LHH. If he's not a future starter, White could be an effective 8th/9th inning reliever in the MLB tomorrow. I think he does get that next level of endurance and consistency which makes him a future #2 starter in my eyes. The only thing preventing White from being considered a true ace, #1 SP is the sporadically above and below average control that I believe will remain with him given the narrow window in his delivery.