(Release from UK Athletics)
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Evan White, one of the most accomplished players in Kentucky baseball history, became the fifth Wildcat to be selected in the first round of the Major League Baseball Draft when the Seattle Mariners picked him 17th overall on Monday night.
The first baseman joins pitchers Alex Meyer (2011), Josh Paxton (2009) and Joe Blanton (2002), and outfielder Chad Green (1996) as first round picks in the primary June amateur draft. Only Green (No. 8 overall to the Chicago White Sox) went higher in the draft than White.
The 6-foot-3, 205 pound junior is considered one of the top talents in college baseball, an offensive force who also possesses elite defensive skills. Despite missing 13 games early this season due to injury he was recently named to Baseball America’s Second-Team All-America and is a Golden Spikes Award semifinalist. He’s also a three-time member of the All-SEC Defensive Team and winner of the Rawlings Gold Glove at first base.
White’s career numbers rank amongst the most impressive in Kentucky history. He has 233 career hits, the fourth most on the school’s all-time list and the most for a player in his first three seasons. His career .356 batting average in fifth on the all-time UK list and the 51 doubles he has clubbed are the fourth most for a UK player.
In 2017, White returned from early groin and hamstring issues and immediately resumed terrorizing opposing pitchers. He hit a team-high .373, making him the first player since Josh Loggins in 1997-98 to lead the Wildcats in hitting in back-to-back seasons. White’s 24 doubles are the second most in a single-season, while adding a career-high 10 home runs to fuel a .627 slugging percentage.
For his career, White has 74 multi-hit games and two hitting streaks of at least 20 games. He has recorded 21 games of at least three hits, has never gone three consecutive games without a hit and only twice has had back-to-back games without a hit. Showing the ability to make adjustments, White also has 70 two-strike hits in his career.
During the summer of 2016, he was selected to play for USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team, starting 15 of 19 games in the club’s tour around the globe as both a first baseman and outfielder. He’s also a two-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member.
White comes from baseball bloodlines, as his grandfather and uncle both played in the Cincinnati Reds organization, while both his parents, Joe and Erin, played college basketball.