Philadelphia, PA (AP) - Sometimes, it's all about timing. If you get hot at the right time, it can really provide a boost to your career. That may be what's happening with Lehigh Valley catcher Ray White.
"I wasn't necessarily expecting to be here just yet, but I was hopeful. I guess I've carried a good spring into the start of the season," said White recently.
It's been a good start, and then some.
White has turned heads, hitting .417 with 8 doubles and 10 runs scored. He is leading the Pigs in a number of offensive categories, including average, doubles, slugging percentage, on base percentage and OPS.
|Ray White has provided some pop at the plate for the Iron Pigs, leading the team with a .650 slugging percentage.
"Ray is certainly looking pretty good," said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. "He's still young and has a long way to go, but we like what we see. He could be pretty good for us somewhere down the line. In fact, I wouldn't mind fitting him in at some point just to see how he does, if the situation presents itself."
"I'd love for a shot at the bigs. That's every player's dream," admitted White. "But, I'm just focused on getting better every day, and the rest will take care of itself.
White has proven to be a good contact hitter, which is something you don't see all that often with catchers. He's also got some speed. Granted, it's not Jimmy Rollins or Shane Victorino speed. But, White is second on the team in stolen bases with 6.
He can also put together some good at bats, showing good discipline and drawing enough walks to have a .500 on base percentage. The one area he is lacking is the power department. He hasn't hit a lot of home runs, and the Phillies don't expect him to do that.
"We see him as more of a number 2 hitter in the lineup. Put the ball into play, move the runners, get on base to get knocked in, that kind of stuff," said Manuel.
Defensively, he has a number of positives as well. He's a decent catcher and has proven to do an adequate job handling a staff so far at the AAA level, though there's definitely room for improvement there. He's got a cannon for an arm though, which could some day be a real plus, as the Phillies give up a lot of stolen bases.
White is also versitile, showing he can play both first and third base, another rarity in baseball. The bottom line is, he's giving the organization a lot of reasons to look at him. And, he's just fine with that. White just hopes he can keep giving the club reasons to like what they see.