Penn State football signee Lonnie White Jr. reportedly could go in 1st round of MLB Draft
One of Penn State’s best recruits in the class of 2021 could instead head to the minor leagues to begin a professional baseball career.
Lonnie White Jr. is on the radar of scouts as a potential first round pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, according to Baseball America. He’s rated as one of the best high school outfielders in the country.
Unlike basketball or football, baseball prospects maintain a fair amount of leverage throughout the draft process. If White is drafted but ultimately chooses to play football for Penn State, the team who drafted him loses that draft pick.
This famously happened at Oklahoma in 2018, when quarterback Kyler Murray was picked in the first round by the Oakland Athletics. He ended up winning the Heisman Trophy and chose the NFL instead, meaning the A’s essentially wasted their first round pick that season.
Because of that system, White would likely to have to signal to teams that he’s interested in playing baseball instead of football if he wants to be a high draft pick. The first two rounds of the MLB Draft — plus several compensation picks — have a projected value of over $1 million.
According to 247Sports Composite rankings, White is a 4-star athlete and the No. 167 overall player in the class of 2021.
The MLB Draft is scheduled for Sunday, July 11.