July 30, 2014

BREAKING: Indians select RHP Alex White in 1st Round of MLB Draft (Updated)

alex-white-2With the 15th pick of the 1st round in the MLB Draft, the Cleveland Indians have selected hard-throwing RHP Alex White out of the University of North Carolina. The 20-year-old stands 6-3, 200 pounds and was 13-3 with a 2.85 ERA in 20 games (15 starts) for the Tar Heels during the 2008 season. He struck out 113 while walking 42 to go along with a 1.15 WHIP. This year with UNC, he has struggled slightly as he is only 8-4 with a 4.13 ERA in 15 starts. On the flip side, opponents are batting only .234 against him, and he has struck out 109 in 98.0 innings of work while allowing 10 home runs and 15 wild pitches and permitting 41 walks.

From MLB.com’s scouting report on White: “White was a top high school prospect in 2006, but went to UNC instead. He’s still one of the better arms now, though his performance in the spring has been a little uneven. He does have plus stuff with a fastball-slider combination along with the makings of two other pitches. He doesn’t always command his fastball that well, but that could be corrected with some mechanical tweaks. With his stuff and his track record, he’s likely to go pretty early on Draft Day.”

Many were projecting him to go as early as the seventh pick today, and are proclaiming this as a steal for the Indians. Hopefully he can get off to a good start with Mahoning Valley or Lake County this season and contribute soon for the Tribe!

(Update: Per Brad Grant, director of amatuer scouting…)

- Three-pitch pitcher.  Up to 96 MPH (plus) fastball with heavy life.  Split-finger fastball and slider are both “swing-and-miss” pitches.”  Has very good size and has had a very good career.

- The team has had their eye on him since he was in high school.  They were unable to draft him after his senior year, but have scouted him for his career at UNC.  He was the top talent on their draft board at the time, and they feel lucky to have drafted him at 15.

- White is projected as a back-end, power bullpen arm.  Where he starts with the team will depend on when he is signed.

- UNC is currently in the Super Regional of the NCAA, he is under their control until he is signed by the team.  He was drafted with the intention of being signed.

- The team is very high on his mental makeup, family upbringing, athleticism, intellegence and strength in values.  Considered to have a “plus-plus” makeup.

  • http://www.twitter.com/dconeil Art McGregor

    I thought we only selected soft-tossing lefties?

  • Vic

    The MLB draft was today?
    Well, at least it sounds like we got a good pitcher. Hurry up to Cleveland, kid. We need you in the bullpen, bad!

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Jacob Rosen

    Yeah it started at 7:00 p.m this evening. A lot of people are not too impressed with his statistics thus far this season, but he seems like a solid overall prospect with loads of potential. My guess is he will go to Mahoning Valley when they start up in the next few weeks here, and possibly be up to Lake County by the end of the season.

  • Nicko

    SUPER BOWL!

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com DP

    I heard Hammy say on the game broadcast tonight that the director of college scouting (or something like that) says they plan on moving him to the pen almost immediately.

  • MadCowz99

    Should they really be spending their top pick on a bullpen guy? I know their bullpen stinks, but I thought you converted guys to the pen because they didn’t pan out as a starter.

  • Andrew S

    This kid is a stud. He was one of the top recruits when he graduated and I think he would have gone in the top ten out of high school had he not committed to UNC. UNC has had one of the top pitching staffs in the country the last couple years, and despite stats, White has been a big part of that. Great pick, hopefully he pans out into a future closer.

  • http://www.jrosen.wordpress.com Jacob Rosen

    Nice update there, thanks for that I appreciate it. Definitely looks like he will be a bullpen guy when he begins 2010 with probably Lake County. He has already pitched over 100 innings this season, so it looks like he could be shut down for the year once the World Series is over. Take a look at this list of our first two pitchers taken in the draft over the past five years:

    2004 – Jeremy Sowers (1st, #6) out of Vanderbilt
    2004 – Justin Hoyman (2nd, #47) out of Florida

    2005 – Jensen Lewis (3rd, #102) out of Vanderbilt
    2005 – Kevin Dixon (5th, #154) out of Minn. State-Mankato

    2006 – David Huff (1st, #39) out of UCLA
    2006 – Steven Wright (2nd, #56) out of Hawaii

    2007 – TJ McFarland (4th, #137) out of Stagg H.S. (IL)
    2007 – Jonathan Holt (5th, #167) out of Tampa

    2008 – Trey Haley (2nd, #76) out of Central Heights H.S. (TX)
    2008 – David Roberts (4th, #141) out of Long Beach St.

    Sowers, Lewis and Huff are with the Indians, but Hoyman never made it at all, Wright is with Akron now while Dixon is out of baseball after pitching with Akron in 08. The high-end picks from the last two years are all in Class A ball still, so hopefully White can figure out a way to actually move quickly through the system.

  • Omega King

    The draft is a craps shoot. Especially when it comes to pitching prospects. Hopefully this guy works out.

  • Harv 21

    Hope springs eternal, but it’s way early to get excited. The Indians’ first round draft picks are much more “miss” than “hit.” For a reality check, take a peek at the list of our first rounders from the past ten years in this morning’s PD. I see one solid major leaguer (Jeremy Guthrie), everyone else is fringe or out of baseball. None of our current starters were first rounders anywhere as far as I know.

  • http://www.jrosen.wordpress.com Jacob Rosen

    Current Indians starters:

    Cliff Lee = 4th-rd, #105 by Montreal in 2000 out of University of Arkansas
    Carl Pavano = 13th-rd, #355 by Boston in 1994 out of Southington HS (CT)
    David Huff = 1st-rd, #39 by Cleveland in 2006 out of UCLA
    Jeremy Sowers = 1st-rd, #6 by Cleveland in 2004 out of Vanderbilt
    Tomo Okha = undrafted, signed by Boston in 1998

    Rehabbing or currently relieving Indians starters:

    Fausto Carmona = undrafted, signed by Cleveland in 2000
    Scott Lewis = 3rd-rd, #77 by Cleveland in 2004 out of Ohio State
    Anthony Reyes = 15th-rd, #455 by St. Louis in 2003 out of USC
    Jake Westbrook = 1st-rd, #21 by Colorado in 1996 out of Madison County HS (GA)
    Aaron Laffey = 16th-rd, #468 by Cleveland in 2003 out of Alleghany HS (MD)
    Zach Jackson = 1st-rd, #32 by Toronto in 2004 out of Texas A&M

  • DCBucks

    Doesn’t matter whom the Tribe drafts. The brilliant coaching staff will have them washed out of the league, after 1 season in majors.

  • http://www.jrosen.wordpress.com Jacob Rosen

    Thanks DCBucks, the staff of the Akron Aeros appreciates your optimism towards our entire existence.

  • Harv 21

    @Jacob Rosen: when I mentioned our “current starters” who were first rounders, I actually meant our position players, not starting staff. Sloppy language, should have proof-read.

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