Houston Astros: Tyler White, Temporary First Base Stopgap?

codypoage
Mar 4, 2016; Kissimmee, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals Charlie Tilson (80) beats the throw back to Houston Astros first baseman Tyler White (84) during the fourth inning at Osceola County Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 4, 2016; Kissimmee, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals Charlie Tilson (80) beats the throw back to Houston Astros first baseman Tyler White (84) during the fourth inning at Osceola County Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports /
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Could Tyler White be the Houston Astros temporary solution at first base?

Ever since Lance Berkman was traded to the New York Yankees almost six years ago, the Houston Astros have been in a constant revolving door at first base. This actually reminds me of a nightmare that I had in my younger years of being stuck in a revolving door, but at least I woke up from it; the Astros on the other hand haven’t been able to wake up from their nightmare.

Between trotting out the likes of Carlos Lee, Brett Wallace, Chris Carter, and Jon Singleton in recent years, it is no wonder why it is easy to think why the Astros are stuck in a nightmare. The Astros finally seem determined to rid themselves of this nightmarish curse and the team has casted a wide net to locate the next answer at first base, even if it is a temporary one.

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And there has been one player who has basically forced his way into the conversation since the first day of camp: Tyler White. And all the man does is hit. Then he hits some more for good measure.

Since the start of Spring Training, White has separated himself from the rest of the pack in a noticeable way. In just 35 at-bats, the 25-year old have slashed a .371/ .452/.515 stat line to go with a lone home run and nine RBI. Not much of a sample size I will admit, but the results are impressive nonetheless. And consider that A.J. Reed and Singleton, the presumed favorites when camp broke in February, haven’t been quite as effective as White. The fact that White has essentially usurped a former and current top Astros first base prospect in the same spring is quite the accomplishment and a testament in how far the often-overlooked hitter has come.

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But the numbers only tell so much of the story. From an actual game-viewing standpoint, White has looked comfortable facing stiffer competition even though the experience comes in the form of Spring Training. He has shown terrific patience and has demonstrated an ability to extend at bats. Basically White has the air that he belongs on the Astros 25-man roster as the team’s Opening Day first baseman.

Let’s just hope he continues to prove that continues to strengthen his case over the next week-and-a-half with results like this one:

Next: Houston Astros: The Case For Scott Feldman in Starting Rotation

All this said we all know that Reed is still the heir apparent at first base for the Astros. The former Kentucky Wildcat has yet to play above the Triple-A level, and will likely start the 2016 season either with the Corpus Christi Hooks or Fresno Grizzlies. However, White could be a fantastic stopgap while the team waits on Reed. And there is also the future of designated hitter to consider, which could be White’s future full-time position in due time. Of course, that means he needs to prove himself on the major league level. But all he needs a chance, one shot, to make that happen. And by this point, it would be fool hearted to doubt the Astros most persistent prospect.

**Statistics provided by MLB.com**

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