There’s been a Giant change for VU’s Jonathan White

Tuesday, June 16, 2009 at 12:01am

There was a point in time during the last year when Jonathan White questioned a lot of things, including whether or not he wanted to continue baseball beyond college.

By Monday afternoon, though, the only question the former Vanderbilt outfielder had was where he was going to play next.

The San Francisco Giants made him a 40th-round draft pick last Friday. Two days later he had agreed to contract terms and boarded a plane for Scottsdale, Ariz., the Giants’ spring-training base and home of the rookie league Arizona Giants.

Thus far, he is the only one of the six Vanderbilt players drafted last week that has signed a professional contract.

“I went through a little bit of a senior crisis, I guess you could say,” White said. “I was questioning a lot of things, and I even questioned whether I wanted to play anymore.

“I finally decided that if I got the opportunity to keep playing, I was going to do everything I could, and it ended up working out.”

He said he will begin on-field work Tuesday, and exactly where he will play this summer and fall will be determined after several days of training sessions.

In addition to Scottsdale, the Giants have Class A affiliates at Keizer, Ore., Augusta, Ga. and San Jose, Calif. The Oregon and Arizona teams play short seasons.

“We haven’t even talked baseball yet,” White said. “We’ve been taking physicals, doing blood work and paper work — a lot of the mundane things that go along with relocating to somewhere.”

White, a graduate of Shelbyville High School, was selected in the 24th round by Milwaukee in 2007, following his redshirt-junior season. He returned to Vanderbilt but went undrafted in 2008.

He hit .266 for Vanderbilt this spring and set career-highs with 18 stolen bases and 19 RBIs. He was a key contributor late in the season when the Commodores finished as runners-up in the SEC and NCAA regional tournaments.

“I went home (following the season) and for a bout a week I just relaxed and spent time with my family,” he said. “I felt I needed to do that because I knew it was going to be all business if I got drafted.

“I’m ready now. I’m excited and I feel like I can build on some of that momentum from the end of the season.”