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1.9 San Diego Padres - Karsten Whitson, RHP, Chipley HS (FL)

The Padres have selected Karsten Whitson. Here's his profile:

 

Karsten Whitson   Position: RHP   School: Chipley HS   State: FL   Height: 6’4’’   Weight: 190

Birth Date: 8/25/91   Seiler Rating: 1B2   Commitment: Florida

Karsten Whitson is an accomplished projectable right-handed pitcher from Chipley High School in Chipley, Florida, a town in the Florida panhandle. Whitson has been a well-known commodity to the scouting community for some time, and one of the things that scouts love about him is a steady growth pattern that has seen his stuff gradually get better every year. He’s by no means a pop-up prospect without a track history of having plus stuff. Rather, he’s gradually added strength to his frame, and there’s more room to grow. As he’s grown, he’s actually learned how to harness his stuff better and better, and while his command isn’t quite plus, it’s above-average on his good days. He has the upside as a potential number one starter, though most projections put him as a number two starter due to a lack of a plus-plus fastball. Rather, his fastball is plus, sitting 91-94, touching 96, and while there’s room to grow, few scouts believe he’s going to actually sit in the mid-90s. He works with his current velocity very well, and that’s reminiscent of 2009 first round pick Zack Wheeler. His secondary pitch is a plus-plus slider that is one of the best breaking balls in the entire draft class, including Jameson Taillon’s hammer curveball. He commands the slider very well, and al though some scouts prefer a curveball from a prep arm, there is a general love for the pitch from him. His changeup is rudimentary at this point, as he hasn’t needed it, but there’s enough feel for it that it could be above-average with time, giving him three above-average to plus pitches. His stock faded a little late in the spring due to tiring, but he’s still a legitimate top half of the first round arm, and the only way he’ll fall out of the first round is if his bonus demands are higher than expected, though the expectation is already that he’ll receive more than slot money.