One draft prospect at each position that should be on the Pittsburgh Pirates’ radar

Going position by position, who are some players that should be on the Pittsburgh Pirates' draft radar from this year's class?
Dodgers v Pirates
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Tommy White 47 hits his second home run of the night as the LSU Tigers take on the Vanderbilt
Tommy White 47 hits his second home run of the night as the LSU Tigers take on the Vanderbilt / SCOTT CLAUSE/USA TODAY Network / USA

Third base

Tommy White

Affectionately nicknamed “Tommy Tanks,” Tommy White burst onto the college baseball scene as a freshman at NC State in 2022, setting the all-time freshman home run record. Since then, he’s continued to mash baseballs for Louisiana State University and could fall into the competitive balance round where the Pirates are selecting 37th overall.

White is hitting .333/.425/.601 through 179 plate appearances. Believe it or not, but these are all career lows for him. He already has a dozen home runs this year and a .268 isolated slugging percentage. While he isn’t walking a ton, as his 11.2% walk rate is lower than the SEC average of 13.4%, he is striking out even less frequently with a 9.5% K%. 

In total, White has 159 career games in college where he has hit .360/.428/.708. He has 63 home runs in 755 plate appearances, along with 41 doubles. He has kept his strikeout rate down each year and only has a 14.3% K%. But has drawn a walk in less than 9% of his plate appearances (8.7%, to be exact).

There’s no question about White’s power. He generates big exit velocities from his lage 6’1”, 230-pound frame. White makes a ton of loud contact outside the strikezone. However, while he hasn’t had trouble with outside stuff in college, it is a reasonable concern once he gets into pro ball. Whatever team that drafts him will have to consider this and work on his swing decisions.

White has only played third base this year, but he’ll likely have to move across the diamond to first base. His arm might play at the hot corner, but that might be the extent of his third base capabilities. He doesn’t have great range and his reflexes would play better on the other side of the infield dirt.

Whichever team that drafts White is going to be for his bat, not his defensive ability. But his bat certainly has a high ceiling. A tweak in his swing decisions could do him a lot of good and help him keep up with better pitching as he moves through the minor leagues. There might be a chance he is still available when the Bucs are on the clock with their competitive balance round A pick.