Minor league baseball: White on injured list, but no worries

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 31, 2022

Staff report

FRISCO, Texas — Owen White made a surprise appearance on the seven-day injury list for the Frisco RoughRiders on June 23.

White hasn’t been the luckiest guy in the world as he’s worked to get his promising pro baseball career rolling — there was elbow surgery and rehab, then COVID, followed by a broken hand — so this latest setback worried his many fans back home.

He says not to worry, says he’s OK. Technically, he’s not injured. Just sore.

He hasn’t pitched since July 13, but that was mostly part of the Texas Rangers’ plans to limit his innings.

“Just a lot of workload,” White said. “Pitched a lot of innings in the last year, so giving the arm a little break. Wasn’t recovering very well and had a little discomfort, but everything checked out good. So letting it relax and recover.”

White, a former Carson star who will turn 23 in August, has enjoyed his first full pro season and has thrown 80 1/3 innings.

They’ve mostly been excellent innings. He was 6-2 for the Hickory Crawdads in High-A before being promoted to Double-A Frisco on June 23.

He’s thrived in Double-A, going 3-0 in four starts against beefed-up competition. This is the Texas League. White’s teammate Jack Leiter, the No. 2 pick in the entire draft by the Rangers last season out of Vanderbilt, has been getting hit hard.

Because of the broken hand, White threw only 35 1/3 innings in the minors in 2021. He went 4-1 with the Down East Wood Ducks after he finally got healthy and was terrific in the stretch run.

Then he set the world on fire in the fall, rocketing up prospect lists after winning Pitcher of the Year honors in the Arizona Fall League.

He’s continued to elevate on every prospect list, cracking the top 100 for all of MLB not long ago and moving up to No. 6 in the Rangers’ organization.

White throws consistent 96 mph fastballs, with a curve, slider and changeup that are all rated as solid pitches.

Coaches love his competitiveness and praise his work ethic.

The Rangers, who added another famous right-hander from Vanderbilt in the 2022 draft in Kumar Rocker, are trying hard to put a tremendous rotation in place.

White has a great chance to be part of it.

With good health, he could make his MLB debut in 2023.


On the injury front, Vance Honeycutt, the former Salisbury High star who tore it up for UNC as a freshman on the field and academically, was shut down for the summer.

Honeycutt hurt a hamstring during his days of trying out for Team USA in Cary.

He had planned to play for the Bourne Braves in the Cape Cod Baseball League, but that won’t happen this year.

The Cape should be part of his baseball experience next summer, however.

Hamstrings are tricky, especially for a player for whom speed is such a big part of his game, but Honeycutt is expected to be ready to go by the time UNC starts fall baseball activities.