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Pirates prospect update: Outfielder Lonnie White Jr.

The former two-sport athlete is now fully committed to baseball, and with some time well spent in the sport we could be seeing a future star.

Despite his inexperience, Lonnie White Jr. ended the season on a high note at the plate.
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On this edition of the Pirates’ prospect update, we take a look at outfielder and all-around athlete Lonnie White Jr. who still has plenty of ground to make up if he wants to be Major League ready.

Hailing from across the state in Coatesville, PA, Lonnie White Jr. was considered a top athletic prospect in both football and baseball. After committing to Penn State in his junior year for football, scouts knew they may be able to draw him away from college after he made it clear he would play both sports for the Nittany Lions. Pittsburgh picked him up in the 2021 Competitive Balance Round B draft, and after signing on with a $1.5 million signing bonus, White was officially set to be a baseball player full time.

White is the perfect example of a raw prospect, clearly having the athletic tools to be successful, with the unknown if they will fully translate to baseball. With that being said, the former wide-receiver does have an innate ability to steal bases and cover a lot of ground in centerfield. His batting is what needs to most development at this point, but his strength is certainly a plus and he still has plenty of time to fine tune those issues in Bradenton.

A glaring issue that has repeatedly appeared has been the amount of injuries White has sustained, albeit largely soft tissue injuries, it is taking him away from the field. The Pirates’ organization has stated they aren’t worried, as he just needs time to condition his body to baseball shape. Similarly Michael Jordan struggled getting back into basketball after his stint with the White Sox, as he had conditioned himself for baseball. Not saying White is anything like Jordan, but if the GOAT can struggle, then so can he.

As limited as his time has been, White still made 44 appearances in Bradenton last year with some promise showing. White managed to rake in 8 homeruns, with a .259 batting average, and .395 OBP. As stated previously he has shown to be a strong baserunner, and tallied 36 scored runs in 2023.

Lonnie White Jr. has a Major League ETA slated for 2026 and is the number 15 overall prospect in Pittsburgh’s organization.