Where Are They Now? Former Colorado Rockies Pitcher Alex White

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May 23, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Former Colorado Rockies pitcher Alex White hopes to pitch in Turner Field with the Atlanta Braves in 2015. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Alex White came to the Colorado Rockies in the Ubaldo Jimenez trade to Cleveland, but fizzled quickly and has made his way through several other organizations. 

Former Colorado Rockies’ pitcher Alex White (minors), once considered a top prospect after being drafted 15th overall out of the University of North Carolina, is now in his fourth organization after signing a minor league deal with the Atlanta Braves on June 12. That minor league deal comes after he was released by the Houston Astros on June 8, due to poor performance in AAA Fresno after failing to make the big leagues in Houston over the better part of two and a half years due to injury and ineffectiveness.

White, now 26, is not the pitcher he once was, having dealt with Tommy John Surgery that stole the entire 2013 season from him, as well as a career 4.78 ERA and 1.478 WHIP in AAA over four seasons. (That’s not to mention his career 6.03 ERA, 5.86 FIP, and 1.684 WHIP in the big leagues, predominantly with the Rockies in 2011 and 2012.)

Things weren’t always like this for White, who breezed through the Cleveland Indians’ system before landing with the Rockies — along with Drew Pomeranz — in the Ubaldo Jimenez trade in July 2011. Neither White nor Pomeranz would stick with the Colorado Rockies, of course, but Pomeranz did eventually catch on to a big league roster in Oakland; White hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since the Rockies traded him to Houston for Wilton Lopez (yikes) after the 2012 season.

After allowing 56 hits and 17 walks in 43.2 innings this season in AAA Fresno (for a 1.672 WHIP and 5.56 ERA), the Astros cut him loose, and White caught on with the Braves, heading to AAA Gwinnett.

As of Friday evening, he’d allowed nine hits and six walks — but only four runs — in ten innings of work (three games/two starts) for Gwinnett.

The clock hasn’t yet run out for White, who is still a full year younger than the average player in the International League, but he will turn 27 in August and his prospect status certainly wore off long ago.

As is the case with so many pitchers, though, teams constantly need depth in case of injury or ineffectiveness. Simply being healthy and pitching well in AAA makes White likely enough to see big league time again this year or soon thereafter. White, though, must prove he is healthy and effective, especially in light of his recent track record.

This may be one of White’s last good opportunities in affiliated professional baseball, as he now finds himself in his fourth organization in the last five years. If not, his big league career may be limited to the work he put in for the Indians and Colorado Rockies in 2011 and 2012, when the Rockies experimented with the ill-fated four-man pitching rotation.

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