Eli White, the Texas Rangers prospect acquired from the Oakland A’s in the Jurickson Profar trade, got some praise from manager Chris Woodward today. Both Jared Sandler and Levi Weaver tweeted about Woodward calling White “a big part of our future” who could help the major league team this year. Jared says Woodward is “blown away by [White’s] speed and athleticism.”
White was part of the package the Rangers got in the three-way deal that sent Jurickson Profar to Oakland and Rollie Lacy to Tampa Bay, and seems to have been glossed over to an extent, with most of the focus being on lefthanded starting pitcher Brock Burke, who the Rays sent to Texas in that deal. However, as we noted at the time of the trade, White was the #8 prospect on Baseball America’s Oakland A’s top 10 list for 2018-19, and BA has White as the #12 second base prospect in the minors.
An 11th round pick in 2016, White turns 25 in June, and thus is on the old side for a guy who spent all of 2018 in AA. That said, his hit tool gets solid grades, and along with playing the infield positions, he’s gotten a few looks in center field. His power potential is limited, but if he can play some center field as well as the infield and get on base at a decent clip, he’s got the ability to be a useful role player going forward.
The fact that Woodward is singling him out for praise at this point is something that’s worth taking note of. White will start the 2019 campaign in AAA, most likely, and I’ll be checking the box scores to see what positions they are plugging him in at. He’s not on the 40 man roster, which makes it less likely they’d move him up for a short stint, but it sounds like Woodward expects to see him in Arlington at some point.