Play that Funky Music (Mitch) White Boy

MLB.comlisted some prospects who just missed the Top 100.  Among them were the Dodgers own Mitchell White.  They had this to say about him:

Mitchell White, RHP, Dodgers
White had Tommy John surgery after graduating from high school and didn’t start to take off until late in his redshirt sophomore season at Santa Clara in 2016, which is why he lasted 65 picks in the Draft that June. He can be unhittable at times with his combination of a heavy 92-97 mph fastball, an even nastier cutter/slider and a curveball that shows flashes of becoming a true hammer.

This guy will be in the rotation in 2019, if he maintains his progress and builds arm-strength.  His ceiling is that of a #2 starter.  He’s part of the reason, along with Urias, Buehler, Santana, Alvarez, Cooper and May why the Dodgers are hesitant to sign a Free Agent like Darvish.

It has been suggested that the Dodgers could package Kemp with someone like Wilmer Font and get out from under the Luxury Tax.  That would be nice, but I am sure other teams are thinking Buehler instead of Font.  I think that suggestion is delusional… even if it did come from Fangraphs. By the way, the article in Fangraphs gives a glimpse of how the Dodgers are helping prospects advance their skills.  I do agree that Wilmer Font deserves a chance.  He’s not likely to be a starter in LA, but he could do well in the bullpen.  I think he’s in the mix!

I will say this:  Mitch White could go down as one of the great draft picks in some time. Even fans in his backyard did not know who he was and when I say he could be a #2, I mean a #2 behind Kershaw.  It would not surprise me if he is better than Walker Buehler – I’m not predicting it, just saying what I think is possible… especially if that curveball becomes The Hammer!

Nothing is going to happen until some free agent signs, which may be the next century and of course, Tony Clark is opening his mouth to show how stupid he really is.  The MLBPA is running the risk of alienating their fans is they head down this path.  It’s all very dumb!

Photo Credit: Dodger Blue

This article has 17 Comments

  1. As much as I want to believe in the young pitchers currently developing in the minor league system, I have to express concern when it seems to me that the last starting pitcher to make it in the majors happens to be named Kershaw and the Dodgers have either had to acquire their starters via free agency, trade, or other methods. Have seen a number of young prospects come to the forefront and be labeled can’t-miss prospects and then either wither under the pressure when promoted, endure injuries that impacted career advancement or were traded to other teams. Players that come to mind include DeLeon, Holmes, Cotton, Guerra, and even Urias at this point. I hope that our development system is not limiting the strengthening of the young pitchers arms and mental strength.

  2. Tony Clark should be embarrassed that he and large market teams got their asses kicked in the last CBA. It’s not good that 1/3 of the teams are tanking and shoving money into their fat wallets with no desire to put an entertaining product on the field. Professional sports is entertainment. Teams like the Dodgers will get nailed for going over the luxury tax but teams receiving revenue sharing money aren’t required to spend on their teams.

  3. And yes the Wilmer Font suggestion was delusional. He might get them $1million a year off Kemp’s contract. Need to up the prospect to get more off of Kemp’s deal.

  4. I like Mitch White, he pitched across 3 levels in both 2016 and 2017 after being drafted out of Santa Clara. His stats in 2017 (combined) GS-19 W-L 3-2 IP 73.2 SO 88 BB 35 ERA 2.93 WHIP 1.03

    I also like Wilmer Font who had a breakout season in 2017 at OKC (after coaches changed his pitch pattern)
    2017 OKC: GS 25 W-L 10-8 IP 134.1 SO 178 BB 35 ERA 3.42 WHIP 1.11

    What jumps out comparing the two is the K to BB rate. Font could slot into many rotations with his 97 MPH heat combined with a good curve and slider. For the Dodgers he would likely slide into the bullpen. He is built like Jansen and has his control and a better pitch mix. Could he be taught a cutter?

    Font is not going to get much knocked off of Kemp’s contract but he would be claimed immediately if DFA’d this spring because he is out of options and the 25 man is pretty full. However that seemed to save Hatcher twice. Herges coached him last year and is now on the Giants, Kapler is in Philly and AA runs the Braves, 3 teams who would be interested in picking him up on the cheap. He is more than a throw in on any deal. Font and Thompson are in the same boat and will both get long looks this spring.

  5. Tulsa is going to be where Dodger fans are going to want to watch MiLB games early in the season. White, Alvarez, Santana, May, and Ferguson will (should) be the starters. Depending how well they do at AA, and how well Stewart (and maybe Stripling) along with the bubble prospects, Sborz and Sopko do at AAA, you could see White, Alvarez, and Santana in OKC by summer.
    White is already a BA top 100, but it is certainly conceivable that Alvarez and Santana can become mid-year top 100. The only thing holding Alvarez and Santana back is their control/command. At their young age that should come, and if it does the Dodgers, along with Buehler and Urias, have a potential full rotation replacement. With Kershaw, that will not happen. But it would make Wood tradeable and Maeda to the pen fulltime. And this is before you consider, May, Ferguson, Cooper, and Marinan, with outside prospects of Abdullah and Crawford that some teams are going to want to consider as lottery picks.
    Pitching and catching is deep. Now it’s time to heavily focus on middle infielders, and power hitting 3B and OF.

  6. Font is not going to reduce the Kemp contract in any significant way, and would be picked up quickly if DFA. The Giants would absolutely pick him up (if not by Detroit before them). His floor is middle relief and his ceiling is high leverage reliever. Font needs confidence, and with his rising high 90’s fastball could conceivably replace Brandon Morrow. Because he is out of options, I think he has an edge on Stripling who still wants to start and can do that at OKC.I
    I think Trayce Thompson is in the same situation. I think FAZ is intrigued to see if he has any of what he showed with the ChiSox in ’15, and with LAD in April/May ’16. left. He could be that RH bat of the LF platoon.
    The Dodgers seem to take the 1st couple of months jockeying their depth and are willing to move players down with options to see what others without options might have. They can just as easily be DFA in May or June. I do not see 2018 any different. While they may be somewhat longshots to break with the team after ST, I do think they have a good chance if they show well in ST.

    1. Good points. One small correction: DFA’d players if claimed go in reverse order of the standings, starting with their league. I believe if in ST it goes by last year and the Giants had the worst record in the NL, with the Braves and Phillies not far behind. That’s why sometimes teams higher up in the order make a trade to prevent another team’s claim. I think Thompson may have some interest from those same teams. I don’t think Font ever gets to Detroit unless they swing a trade in the 10 day period after DFA. I would think the Orioles could use him too.

      1. Of course you are correct. My brain went dead. I knew Detroit had the worst record, but my brain skipped the fact that a DFA waiver claim order goes through the player’s current league before the other. It would be interesting to see how many teams would claim him, and whether FAZ could make a trade with one of them so the Giants could not pick him up.

  7. I agree about Trayce, AC. Yeah, his back injury kind of screwed him last year, but I really liked him in 2016. It will be real interesting to see how he does with a healthy back during spring training. He could be a wild card.

  8. I would not be in favor of the trade as it was described. I agree that Greinke should age well, and could very well be a better than average pitcher for the next four years. But he is not $35M pitcher. The DBacks want to move the Greinke contract so they can have some flexibility for Pollock next year and Goldy in two, assuming they pick up his $14.5M option for 2019. I would be agreeable to trading Kemp and a couple of lottery picks for Greinke and $10M each year. Greinke at 4 years and $100M is supportable even at his age. This would give the DBacks nearly $60M in contract savings to use for Pollock and Goldy. The Dodgers could then move Ryu to save another $6M.
    As good as this may appear, I do not see anyway the DBacks trade with LAD to make them better. Kemp could hit 40 HR in AZ ( a truly baseball city, right Matt?), and they would have the flexibility for Pollock and Goldy, but that is not nearly enough to help the Dodgers in 2018.

  9. In the World Series, Darvish was 0-2 with a 21.60 ERA. In two starts, he allowed nine runs, eight earned, on nine hits in 3 1/3 innings with — and I can’t believe this — zero strikeouts.

    I wouldn’t resign the guy either. #DarvishfreeDodgers

    1. What was his stats in the playoffs before the opposing teams caught onto how he was tipping his pitches? Was the tipping of his pitches more noticeable because of the slicked up WS baseballs? Slider pitchers certainly had a problem with the different balls.

  10. One to consider also is that the Astros have seen Darvish for years when he played for the Rangers, so I would suspect somebody from Texas noticed a slight tick, or different flex on his glove when he threw a certain pitch. Kind of weird how he blew right through the D-Bags and Cubs, then got blown up in the World Series. Doesn’t make sense.

  11. I would consider Darvish if him and his agent would come to their financial senses… It’s seems to be alot of negative crapola about Yu… Dodger folks seem to skip gm. #5, IMO we win that one and you can put a fork in Series…

  12. I hate even reliving this, but besides Darvish imploding in the World Series, nobody seems to mention that Kersh had a 4-1 and 7-4 lead and couldn’t hold it. Astros just wouldn’t die.

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