Prep Baseball: W.F. West’s Brandon White Selected by Dodgers in MLB Draft
RELIEF: White Picked in 14th Round With 434th Pick By Los Angeles
By Matt Baide
After two days of waiting to be selected, W.F. West senior pitcher Brandon White was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 14th round of the Major League Baseball draft on Wednesday.
It was a relief for White to hear his name called in the morning as the 434th pick.
“I’m excited for the opportunity. …It’s been a weird month. For a while, I thought I was going to Wazzu and heading over there this summer,” White said. “Once the opportunity came to get drafted, it got complicated for me. It just feels good to have it be over now. I just have to weigh the options and put 100 percent into that. That’s the most exciting part for me.”
The process of getting drafted started at the beginning of baseball season, as scouts from MLB teams were at every start on the mound for White.
Being drafted turned into the real deal when White traveled to Los Angeles last week to participate in a draft combine at Dodger Stadium. The pitchers were the first prospects to be looked at, and White was the second to last pitcher to throw for scouts.
White started playing catch with an assigned catcher before going to the bullpen to get ready for his time on the real mound.
“I went on the main mound and threw in front of scouting directors. I threw about 13-15 pitches, and they would tell me ‘Let’s see four fast balls, three curves, three changeups,’” White said. “Then they have you act like there’s a batter and keep track of balls and strikes. I threw about 25-30 pitches. It went by really fast when I was out there.”
The night before, White was able to attend a Dodgers game and watch Clayton Kershaw pitch.
White traveled back to Chehalis and waited until the draft started on Monday. The first round went by and the second round came on Tuesday.
“I was thinking I’d get picked up the second day in the earlier rounds or going early today,” White said. “It’s not in your control, this is the first time I’ve watched the draft to see what it’s like and have more of an idea of where I’d get picked.”
When he was taken in the morning on Wednesday, he found out almost at the same time as everyone else did watching the draft.
“It was kind of last minute. Most guys kind of know about a round before, I didn’t know I was until I got a text before I got picked,” White said. “I knew I was going to go right then. It was a lot of waiting but it was pretty exciting.”
The senior ace — who has signed to play for Washington State University next season — posted a 7-2 record in 55 innings pitched. The Evergreen 2A Conference co-MVP allowed five earned runs all season to accumulate a 0.64 ERA. He struck out 92 batters and walked just 12 while holding opponents to a .137 batting average.
The Chronicle’s 2018 All-Area Baseball co-MVP, he allowed 10 runs all season to help lead the Bearcats to a third-place finish in the State 2A Baseball tournament.
For Brandon’s dad Chris, he was trying to keep track of the draft while his students were taking a math final.
“It was stressful. I teach math, today I was giving a final to several of my seniors. I couldn’t get away from my class during crunch time. I wasn’t in the loop on what was going on,” Chris White said. “I was just getting kind of nervous. What we thought was going to happen was the 11th or 12th. Those went by, I was like oh boy. It made me a little nervous.”
Now that Brandon has been drafted, Chris can finally relax now that the draft process is over.
“I’m so proud, beyond words proud of him,” White said. “I’m really proud of the way he’s handled himself. He’s made me a real proud dad.”
Even with the draft over, Brandon now has another decision to make. He is currently signed to play for WSU next season, but would have to give up that if he signed a professional contract with the Dodgers.
“I know I was picked. From there, the whole time, I’m weighing the options of going now and having your career start now and what you’d like to do,” White said. “I can just go to college and get your stock up more in three years. I think both options are great options, it’s just whatever feels right.”
Regardless of his decision, White is ready to put his full effort into the next step of his baseball career.
“For me, it wasn’t my mindset on one thing. I’m going off how my gut felt,” White said. “I’m just ready to make a decision, have things work out and put 100 percent of my effort and focus into what I decide.”