Minor League Baseball: Rangers move White up to Double-A

Published 12:01 am Thursday, June 23, 2022

By Mike London

mike.london@salisburypost.com

Owen White is a young man going west. He has been promoted to Double-A by the Texas Rangers.

The former Carson star and the 2018 Gatorade Player of the Year for North Carolina, White has been terrific in recent weeks for the Hickory Crawdads.

Now he’ll pitch for the Frisco RoughRiders in the Texas League.

White’s new home is a ritzy suburb north of Dallas-Fort Worth. Frisco is a city of nearly 200,000 and the home of  the National Videogame Museum, which probably will be of interest to White, a 22-year-old, 6-foot-3 right-handed pitcher whose hobbies include golf and gaming.

White not only has is moving up a classification, he’s moved within about 40 miles of his ultimate goal — the MLB Rangers. Globe Light Park in Arlington, White’s goal when he was drafted, is now known as Choctaw Stadium after a new naming rights deal was struck in 2021.

White was a second-round pick by the Rangers in 2018 and chose the Rangers (and $1.5 million) over a college scholarship to South Carolina.

Tommy John surgery in May of 2019, COVID and a broken hand provided adversity and temporary obstacles, but he’s been showing what he’s capable of since he got healthy.

White started figuring it out and putting it together late in the 2021 season when he was pitching in Kinston for the Class-A Down East Wood Ducks.

He carried that momentum into the Arizona Fall League, where he dominated experienced hitters and won Pitcher of the Year honors.

He’s experienced some ups and downs in Hickory. His ERA is still a rather high 3.99 due to a couple of less than stellar outings, but he’s been outstanding lately.

He went 6-2 for Hickory. He’s struck out 81 in 58 2/3 innings, while walking 19.

He struck out 30 batters while walking three in his last three starts. That made his promotion an easy decision for the Rangers. It was time to see if he can succeed in Double-A.

White has been consistently throwing 96 mph and has been clocked as high as 98. His curve and slider are at least as good his fastball.  He misses bats. He piles up strikeouts while walking very few people.

White is ranked eighth among Texas Rangers prospects. He joins a Frisco rotation that includes the No. 1 prospect, former Vanderbilt pitcher Jack Leiter.

White’s first start for Frisco likely will come this weekend in North Little Rock, Ark. The Arkansas Travelers are a Seattle Mariners farm team.

MINORS

Austin Love (West Rowan, UNC)  pitched six innings for Peoria on Tuesday, striking out five with no walks.

Love (3-7)  allowed four runs.

Peoria won the game 7-4 with some late runs, but Love didn’t get a decision.

Love has fanned 69 batters in 13 starts.

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Ike Freeman (East Rowan, UNC) was traded by the Cleveland Guardians to the San Diego Padres earlier this month.

Freeman played in a handful of games for the Double-A San Antonio Missions before being released by the Padres on June 15.

Freeman just turned 24, so he could be picked up by another organization.

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Colton Laws (Carson, Charlotte 49ers) has been released by the Toronto Blue Jays.

The 26-year-old Laws began his pro career in 2017, but between multiple injuries and COVID, the 6-foot-7 right-hander pitched in only 29 games.

He has a 7-4 record in the pros, with 61 strikeouts and nine walks.

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