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White ready for Major jump, eager to face Trout

23-year-old prospect discusses contract extension, life on and off field
@gregjohnsmlb
January 13, 2020

SEATTLE -- The learning curve for Mariners first baseman Evan White figures to be steep this year, as the 23-year-old has the opportunity to make the jump from Double-A Arkansas straight to a starting job in the big leagues. To aid in that process, White was one of four Mariners

SEATTLE -- The learning curve for Mariners first baseman Evan White figures to be steep this year, as the 23-year-old has the opportunity to make the jump from Double-A Arkansas straight to a starting job in the big leagues.

To aid in that process, White was one of four Mariners prospects sent to Miami last week for the MLB/MLBPA Rookie Career Development Program, an annual event to help up-and-coming players deal with things they’ll face in their careers.

White (Seattle's No. 4 prospect), along with fellow Mariners top-10 prospects Julio Rodriguez (No. 2), Logan Gilbert (No. 3) and Kyle Lewis (No. 10), attended sessions focusing on how to deal with the media, finances, clubhouse situations, drugs and other potential challenges.

As part of the media training session in Miami, White took part in an interview session with MLB.com’s Jordan Shusterman from Céspedes Family BBQ. Here are some of the answers from his Q&A session:

What are you most excited about for 2020 now that you’ve signed your contract extension?
“I’m really excited just to learn, to continue to learn and grow at high levels. Take in as much information as I can and formulate it into my routine and game plan.”

Which MLB pitcher are you most looking forward to facing?
“One big league pitcher I’m looking forward to facing -- but not looking forward to facing -- is Gerrit Cole. His stuff and just watching him this past year was incredible, and he’s a guy I want to compete against.”

What other opposing players are you eager to see on the field?
“I’m looking forward to sharing the field with [Mike] Trout and [Anthony] Rendon, which works out well because they’re both in the American League West now. Just hearing about the people they are -- obviously they’re great players -- but the people they are, and what they do on and off the field, is remarkable.”

Do you have any baseball superstitions?
“Growing up, I used to be really superstitious -- eating-wise and stuff -- before games. It was kind of weird. But now I don’t. You play so many games, I can’t be too superstitious. I can’t be eating the same thing over and over.”

What is your favorite baseball memory from Little League or all the way up to pro ball?
“My favorite baseball memory had to be in college my junior year, being part of the team at Kentucky on the first team that went to Super Regionals in school history. The atmosphere there, and the group we had and what we accomplished, was pretty special.”

What do you do away from the baseball field?
“I just got a house in Arizona, so my wife and I have been kind of putting that together. That’s been taking up a lot of time. And now being in Arizona, I get to golf a little bit more, and that’s kind of my new hobby. I get to be out there a little more.”

Are you the handyman now around the house or is your wife taking care of things?
“Most of it’s been her, but I texted my dad the other day and was like, ‘I’m finally a man. I bought a ladder!’ So I own a ladder and have been doing some work in the house and stuff, and it’s pretty cool. It’s definitely a learning experience, but I’m enjoying it.”

Last question. Do you have a celebrity lookalike?
“I don’t think I do. My college hitting coach, Rick Eckstein, told me I look like Jim Carrey. I don’t see that at all. Not even a little bit. But that’s the only person I’ve ever really been told, and suggested I should dress like him for Halloween. I don’t see it and I’m not sure if anyone else would see it. But he sees it, so shout out to Rick Eckstein [who is now the hitting coach for the Pirates].”

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.