In 2018, Tyler White was a key piece of the Houston Astros offense down the stretch — hitting 12 home runs in just 66 games while producing an .887 on-base plus slugging percentage. In 2019? He was designated for assignment before being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for a low-level prospect.
So what changed?
White played in 71 games for Houston this year, batting .225/.320/.330 with just three home runs. After coming over to the Dodgers he was even worse (.045/.192/.045 in 26 at-bats) before being shut down for the season.
At 29 years old, White isn’t exactly a developmental prospect — but if you’re looking for reason to believe this all could pan out — which the Dodgers could use given the retirement of David Freese) — White has been treated for a thyroid issue and lost weight.
The Dodgers apparently began treating the issue and as a result, White looks to be in far better physical shape than what’s previously been seen.
If that’s the case, and if he can regain his 2018 form, White would fill an immediate need for the Dodgers: a right-handed bat off the bench that can fill in at first base when needed.
Leaving Houston and coming to Los Angeles? Has to be the highlight, right? Yeah, that one was easy.
An honorable mention could be when White went 2-for-3 with two doubles, two RBI and a walk in the Astros’ 14-2 rout of the L.A. Angels back in May.
White is the quintessential project for the Dodgers. He’s someone who has shown signs of brilliance, but who is stuck in a rut. If the health issue is under control and the Dodgers and tweak his swing, he really does fill a need for the team and could be a huge asset moving forward.
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