White has been two types of hitters throughout his professional career. In the minors, he was the table-setter that the Astros were looking for.
In 2015 with Double-A Corpus Christi and Triple-A Fresno, White hit .325 with a .442 on-base percentage and a .496 slugging percentage. He also recorded 40 extra base hits including 14 home runs and drove in 99 RBIs while scoring himself 70 times.
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However, in his first 27 games on the major league squad, White is only hitting .222 with an on-base percentage of .287.
The reason why this occurred is all about transition. The shift for major league pitchers against White was tough when he won AL Player of the Week in the first week of the season, hitting .556 with three home runs, 9 RBI, and three runs scored in that span. Currently, it’s the transition for White to adjust to major league pitching. In his last 15 games, White has five hits in 52 at bats with 12 strikeouts. Also, a lot of his hits are not falling in as they were in the minor leagues. Compared to a BABIP of .313 and .412 between Double-A and Triple-A respectively in 2015, White only has a BABIP of .238 in 2016.
White’s minor league numbers would be perfect for the role of the table-setter in this offense. It does take time though for a bat to transition into the major leagues. Since the Astros have high expectations this season, it’s kind of hard to watch a player at this level going through growing pains offensively. Once he finds a way to be more patient at the plate and raise his 7.9% walk rate, he will be a perfect fit in this role.
Next: Candidate #2