Marlins make White's Draft dreams come true
MIAMI -- A dream Isaiah White had when he was 8 years old became reality on Tuesday, when the Marlins selected the center fielder from the Greenfield School in Wilson, N.C., in the third round of the MLB Draft.
White, who patterns his game after Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen, is the first player from his school to be drafted.
"It all came from being humble," White said in a phone interview with MLB.com. "I just work hard every day."
A year ago, the Marlins used Rounds 3-10 to load up on athletes. They followed that plan again on Tuesday, going with White in the third round.
The Draft concludes Wednesday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 on MLB.com beginning at noon ET.
White, chosen with the 85th overall pick, is a speedster who profiles as a center fielder. The 18-year-old is listed at 6-foot and 170 pounds, and he dreamed about playing professional baseball for a decade.
"When he was about 8 years old, he asked what I thought his best sport was," said Earl Taylor, an attorney who coached White on travel teams for years. "I told him I didn't think he was going to be more than six feet. I didn't think he was going to weigh more than 180 pounds, but I thought he was going to play center field on television.
"Kids have got to have a dream before they can work toward it. That was his dream."
With speed and upside, White offers the threat to steal bases. A plus defender, he covers plenty of ground in center field. At spacious Marlins Park, speed in the outfield is a necessity.
White flashed his speed in a workout for the Texas Rangers, running the 60-yard dash in 6.24 and 6.17 seconds.
White knew the Marlins had interest, but he wasn't sure he would go as high as the third round.
"I really didn't expect to be in the third round," White said. "I knew I had the talent to get up here, but I really didn't expect it. I'm lost for words, really."
An unfinished product, the right-handed hitter, who also throws from the right side, will need time to develop. White has a commitment to East Carolina if he is unable to reach terms with Miami.
White batted .547 with 13 doubles, six triples and three home runs as a senior.
After going for speed with their first pick of the day, the Marlins used their fourth- and fifth-round selections on college pitchers.
Round 4 (116th overall): RHP Cody Poteet, UCLA
Poteet went 6-1 with a 2.65 ERA this past season as a junior for the Bruins, compiling 65 strikeouts in 68 innings. The righty will turn 21 on July 30, and he may project as a bullpen arm for the Marlins.
Coming out of high school, Poteet was selected by the Nationals in the 27th round of the 2012 MLB Draft, but he opted to go to college. He features a fastball that can reach the mid-90s, and he relies heavily on a slider. The Marlins typically give their pitchers a chance to start in the Minors, but with his combination of fastball and slider, Poteet's future may end up being in relief.
Round 5 (146th overall): LHP Justin Jacome, University of California-Santa Barbara
Jacome, who has good size at 6-foot-6 and 230 pounds, went 7-5 with a 2.70 ERA as a junior at UC-Santa Barbara. He also struck out 96 in 116 2/3 innings while walking just 36 batters.
Even with his excellent size, the 21-year-old pitches with an average fastball, but he has shown a good command of a few different offspeed pitches. He will turn 22 on Oct. 19.
One of Miami's focuses in this Draft was to stock up on college arms, with the hope those players can advance quickly to the big leagues.