White earns praise in All America baseball game

Published 11:11 pm Saturday, August 13, 2011

By WESLEY HALLMAN / Sports Editor

As every player stepped to the plate in the 2011 Under Armour All-America baseball game Aug. 13 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, team managers Larry Bowa and Billy Ripken dished out several compliments through a microphone during the MLB Network telecast of the game.

The former Major League Baseball players saved their highest praise for Spain Park High School senior Mikey White, who started at second base for the American squad in the game featuring 36 of the top high school baseball players in the country.

“He’s the real deal,” commented National team manager Larry Bowa, who was named the MLB Manager of the Year following the 2001 season with the Philadelphia Phillies. “I can see him playing in a stadium like this real soon.”

White, who has verbally committed to play college baseball at the University of Alabama, finished 1-for-3 with a single in the American team’s 6-4 loss to the National squad in the rain-shortened game. The game was halted in the bottom of the eighth inning.

White blasted a single off the glove of National team third baseman David Thompson in the top of the fourth inning for his lone hit in the game.

White coaxed a 3-0 count and battled off a few foul balls before dribbling a ground ball on the left side of the infield and nearly beating the throw to first base by Thompson in the top of the second inning.

White capped his appearance in the game with a fly out to right field in the top of the sixth inning.

White impressed his coaches and counterparts during the Under Armour All-America game weekend in the home run derby.

White, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound middle infielder, blasted several deep bombs and drew comparisons to current Texas Rangers’ infielder Michael Young.

“He has surprising power,” Bowa said.

During his trip to Chicago, White also participated in a skills session with Baseball Hall of Fame member Cal Ripken, Jr. and took in a Chicago White Sox game.

White was teammates in the game with Ryan Ripken, the son of Ripken, Jr., and Sam Gilliken, who plays for Spain Park rival Hoover High School.

White was also ribbed by his manager, along with broadcasters Greg Amsinger and Jonathan Mayo, for his heavily coated eye black, which he sports in every game.

“(White) brought an air compressor in and he sprayed it on both sides,” Ripken joked.

White will have an opportunity to make the USA Baseball 18-and-under National team in September when he travels to Cary, N.C. for the final team trial session. White shined during the first two qualifying rounds in late June and early July at the USA Baseball National Training Complex.

White finished 3-for-8 at the plate with a double and scored two runs during three games at the first round of the National team trials. White also stood out in a two-game series against the USA Baseball Collegiate National team in the first ever Prospect Classic July 1-2 and survived the second round of cuts for the National team.