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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Blake Schuster

NC State freshman Tommy White keeps hitting home runs to cheer you up during MLB’s lockout

There’s not a ton of great baseball news out there right now.

On Feb. 28, the deadline self-imposed by MLB owners to complete a full 162-game season, the men responsible for taking care of the sport reportedly told players the league is willing to cancel a month’s worth of games. Rather than negotiate in good faith with their work force, those in power would see fit to rob the world of baseball at the highest level even longer.

During a time of year when bats should be cracking across Florida and Arizona, players like Bryce Harper are teasing joining other leagues until the owner-led lockout is over.

It’s bleak out there is what we’re saying.

But amid an MLB-less spring, there is one ray of sunshine beaming down in North Carolina that’s giving fans a reason to crane their necks towards college baseball.

His name is Tommy White. He’s a freshman at NC State. And all he does is launch mammoth home runs.

The 18-year-old out of IMG Academy in Florida stands 6’1, 220 lbs. and pairs all the energy his frame can muster with the type of hand-eye coordination that turns opposing pitchers into Little Leaguers.

Through eight games to begin his college career, White has nine home runs and 29 RBI in 34 at-bats—good for a .588 batting average.

Not only has he recorded a hit in every game he’s played this season, he’s registered multiple hits in all but one contest. Oh, and he’s already been walked five times—including twice intentionally.

That certainly seems better than the alternative for opponents, which looks a lot like this:

That last clip was, indeed, a grand slam—his second home run of the game. It’s at this point we should note that Tommy Tanks only has three strikeouts this year. Some simple math would indicate he’s three times as likely to hit a home run as he is to go down on strikes.

Sure, it’s February, and NC State’s competition will get stiffer than the likes of Evansville, High Point, Longwood and Quinnipiac soon enough, but try telling that to Wolfpack alums who already want to workout with White.

Turner is far from the only one noticing White, either. With pro baseball on hold, anyone trying to get their baseball fix in can’t stop watching him send pitches into orbit.

“I’ve never experienced a hot streak like this,” White told’s Nick Trujilo back when he had just seven home runs. “I think I had maybe five home runs in high school my senior year, so it’s pretty cool to go on this streak. I’m not really focused on how many I hit, just focused on hard contact, focusing on the game and the wins.”

And the legend only continues to grow.

MLB Pipeline had White ranked 107 overall in the 2021 draft, grading him him with 50 hit and 55 power (on a scale of 20-80) while pretty much nailing his profile at the plate:

“The big, strong right-handed hitter is all about the bat. White, thick and barrel-chested, has the chance to hit, and with plenty of power. He never gets cheated at the plate and has power to all fields, but scouts also like his approach and the balance he shows at the plate, with a knack for consistently barreling up the baseball.”

Somehow, even that was underselling him.

MLB owners may take away a lot of joy from baseball fans this year, but Tommy White will do his best to restore as much as he can by himself.

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