The defending World Series Champions have a roster filled with talent. Their bench contributes in some way or another. Between the good and the great, one player is breaking the glass ceiling and forcing his way to place every game. His name? Tyler White.
Drafted in the 33rd round of the 2013 MLB Draft, White is having a season to remember, especially for him. While Alex Bregman is playing like an MVP, White is playing like a true, viable asset. In over 59 games this season, White is hitting a slash line of .293/.373/.949 with 12 home runs and 41 RBIs. He also has 56 hits in 191 at-bats.
While the overall regular season stats help his cause for playing time, it is what he has done recently that really has people talking. With Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa, among others, having to go down this season due to multiple injuries, White has really stepped it up. In the last 30 games he has either started or came into, White is hitting .291/.358/.545 with five home runs, 26 RBIs and 32 hits. White has become the glue that holds the Astros’ postseason dreams together.
Manager AJ Hinch discussed the growth of White as a hitter, stating:
“He’s sort of a naturally born hitter. We see that, we talk about that with Altuve; we talk about that with Bregman and Marwin (Gonzalez) and some of the guys that hit well. But Whitey’s done this from the day that he signed his first pro contract. This has kind of been who he’s been.”
Left off the Astros’ postseason roster in 2017, White provided a glimpse of what he is doing this season. In 22 games last season, White had a .279 batting average with three home runs, ten RBIs and an OPS of .853. Combine those stats with this season, you have a true role player that could cause some serious damage.
When the Astros pick out their roster for the postseason, whether they are playing for the Wild Card or the American League Division Series, the first guy on their list should be Tyler White. Given a chance to prove what he can do, the postseason could be his personal playground. Remember all of the home runs that were hit in the 2017 World Series? Now imagine White getting a piece of the action.
Once a thought left to blow away in the wind, Tyler White has become the storm. We should see over the next week how valuable he can be for the Astros, and if that will result in the ultimate promotion he has been waiting for.