Lonnie White Jr. is currently on the 60-day injured list in the Florida Complex League, dealing with elbow and hamstring issues. Both injured are considered minor, and White could return next month.
The Pirates drafted White with the 64th overall pick last year, and gave him a $1.5 million bonus to sign him away from being a two-sport athlete at Penn State. He made his debut in nine games last year in the FCL, hitting for a .258/.303/.516 line with two homers.
The former wide receiver has yet to play baseball full-time. The Pirates have been working on easing him into that process, especially with the injuries.
“I think for Lonnie, this is the first year he’s ever run around in baseball spikes for the whole year,” said Pirates farm director John Baker. “Making some adaptations, we’ve got to be smart, and we’ve got to take it slow. We finally gave him his first full time off, and now he’s building back up. But, upon that build up, we should see him playing every day in the complex league.”
White is very raw at the plate, which is to be expected with his lack of baseball-only experience. He’s got 70-grade speed and a lot of raw power potential in his young frame. He’s a guy who needs experience at this stage to take the initial steps to develop his game.
The Pirates will be able to get White some additional at-bats in the offseason, either by sending him to the instructional leagues, or he could even become an option for winter ball. For now, he’s working his way back, and is expected to make his 2022 debut next month, if the recovery continues to go as planned.