While its quite unfortunate, the above picture is the last image most people have seen of former NFL quarterback Pat White.
Following a wildly successful collegiate career as a dual-threat quarterback at West Virginia University, White was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft to be a backup quarterback and featured signal caller of Miami’s famous “Wildcat” offensive scheme.
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On January 3, in the final week of his rookie season with the Dolphins, White was carted off the field following a collision that left him unconscious. Even though he played his best game as an NFL pro in the Dolphins third preseason game of 2010, it wasn’t enough to keep his spot on the Fins roster following training camp. He was released… and he went unsigned in the days leading up to the start of the NFL season after clearing waivers.
But now he’s back… and playing minor league baseball? Huh?
While this may be a stretch for most to believe, White and baseball have never been far apart.
A Pat White Baseball Timeline
Over the weekend, White signed a minor league deal with the Kansas City Royals. The temptation of playing professional baseball is not new for White – during high school, he pitched and played center field for his high school alma mater and they won two Alabama state championships.
- In 2004, he was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels – but he chose the allure of college football instead.
- In 2007, he was drafted by the Angels again – and chose football.
- In 2008, he was considering playing for the WVU baseball team – but the baseball coach wasn’t “high on it.”
- In 2008, he was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds – and again chose football.
- In 2009, he was drafted by the Dolphins… and then he was drafted by the New York Yankees – and still chose football.
Now, he’s in the minor leagues with the Royals. Clearly, the Royals know he may once again choose football – and they’re cool with it.
Pat White Baseball Scouting Report
So, does Pat White have a chance to play pro baseball for KC? Many scouts thought he had star potential in baseball coming out of high school. See below for a piece of his 2004 scouting report from Baseball America:
White is an explosive runner whose quick hands at the plate and power potential evoke Devon White comparisons, and his power/speed combination is unmatched in the state. He hit .487-12-48 with 26 stolen bases this spring . To see White’s power, scouts have to watch him take batting practice; his approach means it’s usually absent during games. He’s shown more polish than expected in center field, and may not make it out of the third round.
According to my boys at the Royals Review, Royals GM Dayton Moore has a thing for fast guys. And Pat’s got plenty of fast – at the 2009 NFL Combine, White clocked a 4.55 40-yard dash time. The Angels projected him as an outfielder thanks to his speed, athletic ability, and strong arm, and that’s where he figures to play minor league ball for the Royals. He bats and throws left handed.
White will be on KC’s instructional league team this fall in Arizona. If the Devon White comparisons hold true, does that mean that Pat could be a future 3-time All-Star and 7-time Gold Glove winner? Um… ok, that’s probably a bit ambitious.
However, if he can find his stroke and shake the rust off his game, it certainly seems like he could crack an MLB roster – especially the Royals. David Lough is the top outfield prospect for KC and clearly “in the way” of White making the majors in 2011. But if White commits to baseball, his exceptional athleticism has to lead one to believe he could make a big league roster by 2012.
And if he accomplishes that, where would he rank on the all-time list of multi-sport athletes?