San Bernardino, California —— Entering play on Sunday, Oakland Athletics middle infield prospect Mikey White is slashing .241/.313/.416/.729 over 74 games for the California League‘s Stockton Ports, with 13 doubles, nine home runs, 25 walks, and 81 strikeouts over 274 at-bats in 2017. I observed the former University of Alabama product most recently in his July 5 game on the road against Inland Empire, and several dozen times before that across 2016 and 2017; below is Baseball Census‘ full Mikey White scouting report, including several videos.
Mikey White Scouting Report — Video
Our first video of Oakland Athletics infield prospect Mikey White shows his July 5 at-bats against the Inland Empire 66ers, on the road at San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino:
And our second Mikey White video shows more of his at-bats from the 2016 season, also with the Stockton Ports:
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Mikey White Scouting Report — Notes
It’s been now two years in High-A Stockton, and Mikey White has little to show for it offensively. The infielder has hit just .245/.315/.376/.691 over his first 198 career High-A games which is simply not productive enough considering his fringe prospect status, major college pedigree, and age (he’ll be 24 at the start of September). He’s shown decent pop at times, both gap-to-gap and over the fence, but below average bat speed and inconsistent swing mechanics are plaguing him at the plate. He has a thick, sturdy frame that accounts for some of his power surge this year, but beyond muscling balls out of the yard and taking advantage of some of the Cal League’s hitter’s ballparks, he’s not equipped long-term to be a power threat with the bat. He struggles in maintaining one approach, especially for a more polished major college product, and lately it looks like he’s been too patient—almost as though he’s in his own head too often at the plate.
In the field Mikey White is versatile, and he’s played all four infield positions across his professional career. Long term, his best spot is undoubtedly third base, but he’s unlikely to hit enough to stick there. As such, a move to second base may eventually be in the cards, with a likely utility infield ceiling ahead of him with the Oakland Athletics. White is a hard-nosed ballplayer consistent in his pre-game approach and mature in his work on the field, though; regardless of how good or bad things may be going for him, the University of Alabama product handles himself like a veteran and could carve out at least a few more years of baseball because of it. Beyond that, though, he’ll need to rapidly improve his bat speed, athleticism, and aggression at the plate to make an impact in the infield like the A’s were probably hoping he would when they selected him in the MLB Draft’s second round back in 2015.
Mikey White Scouting Report — Projection
The most likely path forward for Mikey White is as a utility infielder, or perhaps a super sub if he starts to add in limited outfield work to his versatile defensive abilities. His glove isn’t the best the Oakland Athletics have in the minor leagues (that title goes to shortstop prospect Richie Martin), but White has soft hands, an above-average arm and good footwork defensively, and he’ll play third or second base easily in the upper minors. The issue, though, will forever be his bat. Frankly, he’s unimpressive at the plate and struggles to hit the ball with authority at times, taking bad swings at bad pitches far too often respective to his big college background.
A former second round pick who the Oakland Athletics still hold on the fringes of their top 30 prospect list, perhaps there is some leash yet for Mikey White to develop in the coming seasons. But rapidly nearing 24 years old with no offensive success to speak of in High-A let alone above it in the upper minors, the clock is ticking on Mikey White’s time in pro ball and some serious offensive development is needed. If even modest offensive gains can come, he could work himself into a versatile, longtime up-and-down utility profile between Triple-A and the big leagues.