LONNIE WHITE, Jr., CENTER FIELDER
|Born: December 31, 2002
Drafted: Round 2 Supp., 64th Overall, 2021
How Acquired: Draft
High School: Malvern Prep (PA)
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|White originally had a baseball commitment to Clemson, but switched to Penn State to play baseball and football. He was a three-sport star in prep school, also playing basketball. He should have plus power, given his strength and bat speed. He currently swings and misses some, but that could improve as he focuses on baseball. White was one of the fastest players in the draft and should play center at least initially, where he could be above average with a slightly above average arm. Baseball America rated him 32nd among draft prospects. White eventually signed for nearly half a million above the slot value of $1,050,300.
White got into nine games in the FCL, six in center and three in right. He showed good power while striking out a great deal, but the sample size was very small.
White had a lost season. Like all of the other 2021 prep draftees, he stayed in extended spring training when the full season leagues started play. He should have opened the season in the FCL, but the Pirates assigned him to Bradenton and placed him on the seven-day injured list with what they characterized as a UCL injury that was causing “mild soreness” in his elbow. He also supposedly had a hamstring problem. In keeping with the team’s practice of understating injuries, often dramatically, they transferred White to the 60-day IL at the end of May. He appeared in two games in late July and looked fine, but disappeared after that and didn’t return. Given the Pirates’ fanatical secrecy with injuries, it’s impossible to say what exactly was happening.
White has a considerable ceiling, so it’d be good if he was able to stay on the field.
|2023: Minor league contract
|Signing Bonus: $1,500,000
MiLB Debut: 2021
MiLB FA Eligible: 2027
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2025
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|July 12, 2021: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2nd Supplemental round, 64th overall pick; signed on July 26.|