I hope the Cleveland Indians’ Alex White is not related to any of the Whites from The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia. If he is, the odds are pretty good he ends up dead or in jail before the seasons over.
On an actual baseball note, Alex White has a good pitchers build, 6 foot 3 inches and 200 pounds. He has a very good fastball/sinker that sits at 91-94 MPH, generally. They say his splitfinger ain’t half bad, either. The best asset he possesses is his workhorse mentality. He loves to carry his team deep into games. While most minor leaguers sit around 4.5 to 5 innings per start, White is worlds above that with 5.8 IP per game.
While in the minors, White had average strikeout numbers (7.5 K’s per 9) but he made up for it with his low walk and hit rates. Not allowing baserunners is generally a good way to prevent runs as well. In fact, he had no troubles in the minors (2.37 ERA, 1.10 WHIP in 174 innings) but keep in mind that he only has 23 innings above Double-A.
White recently got called up, thanks to a Carlos Carrasco injury. With Jeanmar Gomez pitching mediocre and Josh Tomlin being able to implode at anytime, White has a decent opportunity to stay in the rotation for the rest of the season.
What the Indians have in Alex White is not an ace, or even a #2 starter. However, getting something in the future along the lines of Brett Myers, John Lackey, Mike Pelfrey is not out of the question (best-case). AL-Only league managers should jump on Alex White like all those Times at Ridgemont High… Fast. In mixed leagues it really comes down to how desperate do you need pitching, and are you willing to take a chance on a young prospect like Alex White? Unless it’s a 14-team league or greater, I would recommend you pass. In keeper leagues, he’s not a must-own, either. I think his best-case scenario makes him a low-end #2 starter but he’s likely a solid #4 or #5 starter for years to come.
Comparable Players: Josh Fogg, Brett Myers, Ryan Vogelsong
2011 Prediction: 117 IP – 6 W – 71 K – 48 BB – 4.93 ERA – 1.47 WHIP