The Detroit Tigers could see a handful of pitchers reach the Rule 5 Draft this off-season. They have multiple 25-year-old and younger arms that are part of their Triple-A team’s depth chart, some of which had quality seasons. There’s a possibility that the team leaves at least one of them unprotected, and that could be Brendan White.
White posted strong numbers for the Tiger Double-A affiliate. He also pitched a good amount of innings, racking up 67.1 frames. All told, the right-hander had a 2.67 ERA, 2.94 FIP, and 0.91 WHIP. White had a healthy 27.1% strikeout rate and allowed just three home runs all season. The pitching prospect had a 56% ground ball rate, which was the third-highest mark among the organization’s minor league pitchers with at least 30 innings under their belt. It also helps White posted a quality 6.3% walk rate.
White throws with some deception. His arm slot is about as low as you can get before getting into a side-arm motion. His big weapon is his wipeout breaker, which comes in with around 2900 RPM of spin. He doesn’t throw particularly hard, averaging out in the low-90s, but he commands his stuff well. His 6.3% walk rate is in line with his career average of 6.4%.
This was the first year the Tigers put White in a relief-only role. Eventually, he became a high-leverage reliever, closing nine games and finishing 21. White is definitely a player that, if left unprotected and available when the Pittsburgh Pirates are on the clock, the team should highly consider, given the lack of bullpen depth.