The Mitchell Report
Let me introduce you to Mitchell White. A 2016 2nd rounder, he utterly dominated the minors last season in a huge 22 inning sample size. Okay, that’s minuscule compared to a full starters workload, but at this stage the innings total is meaningless. His workload was tightly managed and understandably so, given his history. That dominance included three different stops, ending in the picturesque Inland Empire. White did not give up an earned run in those 22 frames, with batters hitting a meager .096 average against the mighty Mitchell. White also threw 92 innings earlier in the year for Santa Clara, and ended his college season with a 3.72 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, and 11.54 K/9.
As the recipient of a reconstructed UCL, White comes with an injury history that many share these days. His Tommy John surgery took place during his freshman year in college. While recovering from his procedure, Mitchell took the time to work on his conditioning, and condition he did. Upon his return, he was throwing harder than ever and his numbers reflected that improvement. He now boasts solid swing and miss stuff, headlined by a plus cutter. That will be White’s bread and butter pitch as he progresses up the ladder. The excellent cutter will keep righties in check while simultaneously neutralizing left handers. Mitchell could also have a plus FB in time from a solid downward plane, along with a solid curve in his back pocket.
Considering he was a 2nd round pick, there is not a lot of video on White. But let’s examine White’s delivery and see if anything can be learned or projected upon review.
To my eyes, White has easy mechanics and an athletic repeatable delivery. There aren’t any red flags such as falling off the mound, or major spine tilt. Mitch stays under control from the time he starts his motion until he follows through. Mechanics like this lead me to believe he can develop above average command at maturity and that is key for his future.
White has arguably upped his stock more than any other recent draftee according to some experts. Some pundits went so far as to suggest he would be a top 10 selection if the 2016 was replayed with current knowledge. The most flattering comp I have seen thus far for White is Kevin Gausman, and I feel this is an apt, if not overly zealous, comparison. Like Gausman, White is an athletic hurler with the potential for plus stuff, but lacks command at times. The stuff, delivery, and body points towards a ceiling as a #3 starter with the chance for slightly more if the command improves or slightly less if it does not.
Being in the Dodgers organization, White will receive a good amount of hype if he succeeds early in the season. By midseason he could burst onto the national scene and shoot up prospect lists. I drafted Mitchell in two deep leagues this season, and I’ll look to add him in others as roster space frees up. The time to invest is now.