With the ninth overall pick in the 2010 MLB draft, the Padres selected high school right-handed pitcher Karsten Whitson.
I love this pick. I’ve said all year that the #1 need for this system is high-upside starting pitching, and Whitson is one of the highest-upside pitchers in the draft.
Whitson, 18, throws a low-to-mid-90’s fastball that’s touched 96 and could wind up as high as 98, due to his projectability. His slider rates at least average already, and some scouts call it an out pitch.
Whitson’s changeup is better than that of most high school pitchers.
This guy reminds me a lot of Simon Castro, stuff-wise, and that’s pretty darn good.
Like Castro, Whitson has solid command, and he’s not likely to have an Aaron Poreda-style meltdown.
The one negative is Whitson’s mechanics, as he struggles to finish off his delivery properly. Still, I trust the Padres’ player development department, which has done a nice job fixing up many of the pitchers, to help Whitson get his mechanics cleaned up. He does have a big, durable body, at least.
Great pick for the Padres, who get both one of the best players available and a guy who fills the farm system’s biggest need.