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MLB Draft 2017: Mariners select Evan White with 17th overall pick

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Arizona Diamondbacks Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

With the 17th pick in the draft, the Mariners have selected Evan White from the University of Kentucky. In mock drafts, White was projected to go 19th by MLB.com and ESPN and 16th by Baseball America.

White is unusual in that he’s a tall, lanky first baseman who has hit for little power during his collegiate career. White, who stands 6-foot-3 and has been listed between 180-200 pounds by various outlets, has hit just 15 homers during his three seasons at Kentucky, though eight came during his junior campaign. In terms of stature, he’s quite similar to Giants first baseman Brandon Belt, although he doesn’t appear to have as much power potential as Belt had coming out of the University of Texas.

While he’s considered an elite defender at first base, it’s also possible that White could be converted to the outfield, which would free him up to utilize his plus on-base skills and speed without having to worry about his lack of power.

White’s progression through the minor leagues will likely be dictated by whether he stays at first base, but either way, he may move a bit slower than a typical college first baseman because he still needs to add strength.

For more on White, check out Chris Cotillo’s Q&A with him.