Cody White's Work Is Exemplary

   The draft-and-follow will become a baseball memory this June as the changes in the draft rules gives teams six weeks to sign the players - and that's it. Either they sign or they don't. No more stashing them away at a junior college for a year; no more protracted negotiations.

   The Dodgers have always used the old rule wisely and have a number of players with at least some promise down in the minors that they have acquired in this fashion. One such is lefthander Cody White, currently with the Great Lakes team.

    White was a 12th round selection out of high school in Texarkana, Tex. in 2003. He didn't sign then; rather he stayed home to attend Texarkana Junior College, then signed in 2004. He looked pretty good in his debut with the Gulf Coast Dodgers (1-1, 2.53 ) but only managed to get into five games before a tender arm curtailed his season.

   Moved to Ogden in 2005 he seemed to recover from his arm problems but showed little of his potential going 1-3, 6.92. It wasn't until midway in last season that he finally hit his stride. Used in relief at Ogden he became extremely dependable going 4-2, 2.68.
  This spring he was one of the better -looking young pitchers in camp. So much so that he was thrust into the rotation for Great Lakes. There, he's continued to demonstrate he has the pitches to do well- a fast ball that rests in the low 90's plus a sharp curve that's extremely tough on lefthanders (who only hit .103 against him in 2006. )

   So far, he's made two starts in which he's allowed but one run in each. He's thrown 7.2 innings in which he's given up only five hits, been a bit wild with eight walks but has struck out 13. Hitters overall are managing a mere .185 against him.

  Very commendable, right? So, what's record? 0-2, that's what. Give up a run for the Loons and you're doomed; at least, at this stage because the team only manages a run or two at best. Their inept hitting has meant that some strong pitching has gone for naught.

  All a pitcher can do is take care of his business, of course. That's what White has been doing. He seems to be coming of age (he's 22 and at 6-2, 185 has an ideal frame for his profession.) If he keeps on doing it, he'll be very much a bonus derived from a draft rule that is now about to become part of history.