With the seventeenth pick in the first round of the 2017 MLB Draft, the Seattle Mariners selected Evan White, a first baseman out of the University of Kentucky.
While White is listed as a first baseman, he is as far from the archetype as one can possibly be. Perhaps his biggest standout tools are his plus speed and elite defense at the corner, while the worst of his primary tools is his power. There’s a chance there that White switches to the outfield, where his bat would be a bit more appealing, but he provides about as stellar of defense at first base as one possibly can and the Mariners may not want to part with that.
White enjoyed a spectacular year at Kentucky, slashing .373/.453/.637 with 10 home runs, 24 doubles, and just 31 strikeouts over 248 plate appearances. The performance helped the Wildcats reach their first super regional in school history.
Here’s more on White from his MLB.com profile:
White manages the strike zone well and usually focuses on hitting line drives from gap to gap with a relatively flat swing. He has good bat speed and a long frame built to create leverage, so power should come once he adds more strength to his body and more loft to his swing. He's starting to turn on more pitches this spring, which bodes well for his future.
Here are some highlights: