Dodgers prospect Mitch White could be the 2016 draft's top pitcher

Mitch White struck out 30 in 22 innings across three levels of the minors in 2016. AP Photo/Four Seam Images/Larry Goren

The Dodgers took right-handed starter Mitch White in the second round of the 2016 MLB draft out of Santa Clara University, where he was a redshirt sophomore and had just completed his first season as a starting pitcher. White went with the 65th overall pick in that draft, but if teams redrafted today, he might go in the top five overall.

First-year area scout Tom Kunis, who’d previously worked as an assistant coach at several Division I programs, including eight years on the coaching staff at Stanford, drafted White. The Dodgers brass gave Kunis credit for identifying White early last spring as someone who might see his velocity improve as the season went on, which it did. White finished his 2016 spring touching the mid-90s, but now he’s sitting there and showing a better breaking ball as well.

White threw two innings in the Dodgers’ first Double-A game of the spring on Monday and was 95-97 with above-average fastball life and a plus slider at 88-90 mph. The slider has hard, big downward break, and he also shows a true curveball at 81-83 that has some power to it, although I think the slider is the better pitch. He has workhorse size at 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, with some evident athleticism and a very easy, repeatable arm action, one that has him on line to the plate and showing some fastball command already.