Three potential under slot draft picks to keep an eye on for the Pirates

If the Pirates opt to take an under slot player early in the draft, here are some names they should keep tabs on.
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
2 of 4

Tommy White

If the Pirates want to get a first baseman and a potential future middle-of-the-order bat while still going under slot, Tommy White could be the way to go. The LSU corner infielder has been one of the top sluggers in college baseball the last three seasons. Gaining popularity after setting the freshman home run record in 2022 at NC State, White has since swung his way through the SEC and could end up going in the first round of the draft.

White is currently batting .336/.427/.596 with 11 dingers in 171 plate appearances. He has struck out just 9.9% of the time while having an 11.1% walk rate. White’s power is down from the last two years. He slugged well over .700 in both 2022 and 2023. But his .260 isolated slugging percentage is still better than the SEC average. All told he has a .437 wOBA with LSU this season.

White’s walk rate is slightly below the conference average, but he rarely strikes out because of how aggressive he is at the plate. He swings out of the zone a lot but has yet to have any trouble making contact on pitches off the plate. On top of that, he’s had no trouble making quality contact on outside offerings. However, some are skeptical about how that approach will translate into pro ball. White has only played third base for LSU, but has limited range at the hot corner. While his arm is good enough to play at third, he’ll likely have to move to first base long-term.

Because of that, he’d likely go past the first ten picks. But a team, namely the Pirates in this case, could take him early so they can save some money for later in the draft. Whatever team that takes Tommy Tanks this year is taking him for the bat. His approach might need some tweaking, as it could get exploited as he moves up the minor league levels, but he could still develop into a good hitter.