By Bob Elliott
Canadian Baseball Network
University of Kentucky Wildcats first baseman Evan White was given a $3.25 Million US signing bonus by the Seattle Mariners.
White, from Gahanna, Ohio, was selected 17th over-all in the draft,
Now, the Canadian diamond community might be like fans during pre-game introductions at a college hoops game with their reaction:
Well, since you asked, White’s signing could cause a shift in the agent landscape on the Canadian market place for Canadian players down the road.
White you see is represented by Blake Corosky’s True Gravity based in Toronto.
Reputations turn from excellent to EXCELLENT when you represent a first-round, seven-figure bonus baby. In the past some previous Canadian first rounders had American representation, such as
RHP Jameson Taillon (The Woodlands, Tx.) to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2010; LHP Adam Loewen (Surrey, BC) of the Whalley Chiefs, Baltimore Orioles, 2002, RHP Cal Quantrill (Port Hope, Ont.) Stanford University, San Diego Padres in 2016; LHP Jeff Francis (North Delta, BC) University of British Columbia, Colorado Rockies in 2002, Josh Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) Ontario Blue Jays, Miami Marlins in 2015; C Kellin Deglan (Langley, BC) Langley Blaze, Texas Rangers in 2010: SS Kevin Nicholson (Surrey, BC) Stetson College, Padres in 1997; RHP Mike Soroka, (Calgary, Alta.) PBF Redbirds, Braves in 2015, INF Scott Thorman (Cambridge, Ont.) Team Ontario, Braves in 2000, LHP James Paxton (Ladner, BC) Kentucky, Blue Jays in 2009 and RHP Kyle Lotzkar (Tsawwassen, BC) Langley Blaze, Cincinnati Reds in 2007.
The largest signing bonus Corosky gained for a client before the White contract? Easy. INF Chris Bisson (Ottawa, Ont.) of the Ottawa-Nepean Canadians went in the fourth round to the Padres in 2011 and received a signing bonus of $235,000.
Corosky's stable has come a long way since his first client INF David Detienne (Halifax, NS) who played seven years in the Los Angeles Dodgers system, after being selected in the 25th round in 2001.
True Gravity also looks after major leaguers RHP Chad Green of Effingham, Il. who had pitched in 10 games with the New York Yankees this season; RP Chris Smith of Louisville, Ky. who was in 13 games for the Oakland A’s last year and is at triple-A Buffalo and Drew Steckenrider of Atlanta, drafted by the Marlins in the eighth round in 2010 from the University of Tennessee, who has pitched in four games with Miami.
As well his company looks after minor leaguers RHP Derek Eitel of Marhall, Ill., at double-A Harrisburg, LHP Kyle McGrath, Louisville, double-A San Antonio, INF Dan Gamache, Exeter, RI, double-A Chattanooga, OF Cole Sturgeon, Owensboro, Ky. double-A Portland, RHP Sean Donatello, New London, Conn., double-A Erie, RHP Andrew Robinson, Senoia, Ga. Harrisburg, INF T.J. White Las Vegas, Chattanooga, INF Grant Kay, Omaha, double-A Montgomery, LHP Michael Theofanopoulos, Pleasanton, Calif., class-A Fort Myers, RHP Christian Turnipseed, Littleton, Col. class-A Frederick. LHP Nick Fanti, Smithtown, NY, class-A Lakewood, Reed Gamache, Exeter, RI class-A Brooklyn, RHP Cody Clark Las Vegas, class-A Hillsboro, RHP Levi MaVorhis, Seattle, class-A State College, INF John Polonius, Willemstad, Curaçao, class-A Salem-Keizer, as well as minor league free-agents Balbino Fuenmayor, Valencia, Ven., Ronnie Shaban, Moseley, Va., Terry Doyle, Warwick, RI and LHP Zak Wasserman, St. Joseph, Mich.
Corosky doesn’t just operate south of the border, despite struggling to land Canada’s biggest fish in the pond. Besides Pete Orr, he represented LHP Andrew Albers (North Battleford, Sask.) triple-A Gwinnett, injured LHP Evan Grills (Whitby, Ont.) triple-A Albuquerque, LHP Conor Lillis-White (Toronto, Ont.) double-A Mobile, C Chris Shaw (Winnipeg, Man.) class-A Delmarva, LHP Isaac Anesty (Guelph, Ont.) rookie-class Arizona Legaue Reds, C Luke Van Rycheghem (Kent Bridge, Ont.) Diamondbacks, plus RHP Jon Fitzsimmons (London, Ont.), C Maxx Tissenbaum (Toronto, Ont.) who are both with Quebec in the independent Can Am League.
The Blue Jays had done a ton of pre-draft work up on White, but the first baseman did not make it to 22nd pick over-all, he was scooped earlier by the Mariners.
White is an unusual first baseman in that his weakest tool is his power, according to scouts. He is a plus runner and is away above average as a defensive first baseman. He’s a gap-to-gap hitter with maybe 15-homer a season projection in most parks. At the Rogers Centre, a scout guesses he could hit 20.
He wears No. 19 for his favorite player Cincinnati Reds 1B Joey Votto (Etobicoke, Ont.).
White joins Kentucky pitchers Alex Meyer (2011), Josh Paxton (2009) and Joe Blanton (2002), and outfielder Chad Green (1996) as first round picks in the primary June amateur draft.
White’s career numbers rank amongst the most impressive in Kentucky history. He has 233 career hits, the fourth most on the school’s all-time list and the most for a player in his first three seasons. His career .356 batting average in fifth on the all-time UK list and the 51 doubles he has clubbed are the fourth most for a UK player.
In 2017, White returned from early groin and hamstring issues and immediately resumed terrorizing opposing pitchers. He hit a team-high .373, making him the first player since Josh Loggins in 1997-98 to lead the Wildcats in hitting in back-to-back seasons. White’s 24 doubles are the second most in a single-season, while adding a career-high 10 home runs to fuel a .627 slugging percentage.
For his career, White has 74 multi-hit games and two hitting streaks of at least 20 games. He has recorded 21 games of at least three hits, has never gone three consecutive games without a hit and only twice has had back-to-back games without a hit. Showing the ability to make adjustments, White also has 70 two-strike hits in his career.
White comes from baseball bloodlines, as his grandfather and uncle both played in the Cincinnati Reds organization, while both his parents, Joe and Erin, played college basketball.