Trying to succeed in the majors as a rookie comes with high expectations. Evan White logged 400 plate appearances before breaking camp with Seattle during the 60-game sprint 2020 provided. He struggled making contact slashing .176/.252/.346, not good, but still finished with decent counting statistics. Through 54 contests, White scored 19 runs, launched eight home runs, drove in 26 and stole a base.
Despite a high strikeout percentage (41.6), White owned a 28.4 O-Swing (outside the strike zone) percent along with a 76.2 Z-Contact (in the strike zone) percentage. It would be appreciated if he improves in 2021 which could be in the offing.
Spring training reports center on him changing his set-up in the batter's box so keep tabs on how he performs this spring. With this in mind, White actually produced very good results below the surface according to Statcast data.
White generated 99 batted ball events with 14 barrels (14.1 percent), an average exit velocity of 91.7 MPH and a robust 52.5 hard hit rate. Although his expected statistics do not drastically improve, there's some hope for the future in them. He notched a .189 expected batting average (xBA), .384 expected slugging (xSLG) and .290 expected weighted on-base average (xwOBA) residing 29 points over his actual results. It's not all red, but there's also room for some positive migration to the mean:
Most encouraging, how White finished among his peers:
-- 90th percentile in Barrel percentage
-- 95th percentile in Hard Hit rate
-- 85th percentile in Speed
-- Same barrel per batted ball event percentage as Matt Olson
Delving a bit deeper, White registered a maximum exit velocity of 112.8 MPH last year and a 96.9 MPH average exit velocity on his line drives and fly balls. Over the course of his rookie campaign, he racked up a 23.2 fly ball percentage and 24.2 line drive rate. Any movement towards 25 percent in either category, or both would enhance his already burgeoning power.
Seven of White's eight home runs in 2020 rate as no-doubters (out of any major league ballpark). Here's all of his batted ball events from last year in a spray chart:
White finished with a higher maximum exit velocity than Dominic Smith , more barrels in 2020 than Jesús Aguilar notched since the second half of 2019 through last season and could break out if his adjustments unlock better contact rates. Due to his disappointing season, many may ignore the post-hype rebound lying in wait. Check out his projection sets:
A "deadened” makes identifying players who produce barrels a wanted commodity. White rose through the system as a contact first player with power on tap. Getting him as a late round flier with the chance he takes a major step forward should make him an intriguing target past round 20 in any league setting. If he steals five bases, projected rotisserie value receives another boost. This profile represents a lottery ticket worth buying.
THE BAT X and THE BAT courtesy of Derek Carty
ATC courtesy of Ariel Cohen
ZiPS courtesy of Dan Szymborski