August 25, 1991
11th round, 2014 ; 37th round, 2013 by Washington ; 1st round, 2010 by
School: Chipley HS (FL)
Scouting Scratch: Fall Instructs Part One (10.8.14)
Karsten Whitson close to his old self in Red Sox.. (3.26.15)
Physical Description: Strong pitcher’s build. Solid,
proportioned frame. Well-developed lower half.
Mechanics: Throws over the top with a high leg kick. Live arm.
Controlled, rhythmic delivery. Arm action is a little long behind, and he
lands with a stiff front side. Starts on the third-base side of the rubber
and falls off to the first-base side. Pitches downhill when he is right.
Fastball: 88-94 mph. Has topped out at 96 mph in
pro ball, but showed more velocity during the 2014 college season, topping
out at 97 mph during the SEC tournament. Pitch has plus life and has shown
arm-side run. During the 2014 season with Lowell, sat 88-91, topping out
at 93 mph, but in the Fall Instructional League velocity ticked up to
above-reference levels after he got healthier. Below-average command and
control. Potential plus offering when he has the pitch going right for
Slider: 81-86 mph. Better in the upper
velocity range. Tilt and depth through the zone. Pitch is loose and he
slows his arm in the lower velocity range. Needs to improve consistency,
but has feel for the pitch. Has shown wipeout potential in the past.
Potential plus offering.
Changeup: 81-85 mph.
Shows fade and drop in the 82-84 mph range. On the firm side at 85 mph.
Needs work improving consistency, but could develop into an average third
Career Notes: Turned down a $2.1
million bonus offer from the Padres as the ninth pick in the 2010 draft.
Had a stellar freshman season at Florida before injuries derailed the rest
of his college career. Injury that caused him to miss 2013 was reported to
be a shoulder impingement.
Summation: If he is
healthy, Whitson has middle-of-the-rotation potential. Fastball and slider
are both potential plus offerings, and the changeup could be workable as
his third pitch. Health is a real question mark, however, as he has been
plagued by arm and shoulder issues for several years now. Could be better
suited to a bullpen role to minimize injury risk. High-risk, high-reward
type of player.