TCN 2012 Cards Prospect #28: Boone Whiting

Solid results demand notice as the right-handed pitcher makes his top prospect list debut. Today's report is FREE!

The Cardinal Nation/ Player Profile
(including links to full 2011 and career stats)

2011 rank Pos. DOB Ht. Wt. Bat Thw Signed Round
NR RHS 8/20/1989 6-2 175 R R 2010 18th

School: Centenary

Selected 2011 stats

QC 5 2 2.41 30 14 4 119 82 36 8 24 122 1.13 0.191

Staff comments (individual rankings in parentheses)

CariocaCardinal (22): As much as I've tried, I can't write about Boone Whiting without constant reference to former Cardinal P.J. Walters. Like Walters, Whiting was an unheralded, mid-round draft pick that put up excellent results in his early time in the Cardinals organization. Both rely on pinpoint control and change of speeds as neither has what is considered an outstanding fastball (though Whiting's is said to be a tick faster).

Whiting receives recognition this year despite his results not quite equaling those from last year's stellar campaign. His 68 K to 5 BB ratio in 54 IP gained him little respect as he did not make top 40 list after the season. It also bought him little respect in the Cardinal organization as he was relegated to the bullpen to open the 2011 season.

Whiting did not let up after being moved into the Quad Cities rotation, posting very similar numbers as a starter and as a reliever. In relation to his 2010 season, he was less hittable this year than last and gave up fewer homers though his control was not as good (still very, very good - just not off the charts like 2010). While his home run allowed rate is not bad, it is the one area in which he significantly lags Walters and an area in which he may need to improve as he moves up.

Whiting as not progressed as fast as Walters did through the Cardinals minor league system. By the time Walters finished his first full season, he was two levels ahead of where Whiting finished (Double-A vs. Low A). Yet by the age measure, Whiting is further along than Walters as at the same age. Walters had just completed short season rookie ball. Whiting most definitely should move up to High-A Palm Beach for 2012 and with continued success, he could finish at Double-A just as Walters did after his 22-year-old season.

Message board community (27): Boone Whiting made his first appearance on the community list, placing 27th after a breakthrough Midwest League performance in his age-21 season. I say breakthrough, rather than breakOUT, because Whiting was excellent in 2010 as well… but that was in rookie ball, where college-tested arms are supposed to flourish.

Whiting is armed with a merely adequate fastball, usually in the 88-91 mph range, but reportedly possesses an extremely deceptive changeup, which in turn makes the heater seem a bit hotter. Whatever he's doing, Whiting has piled up the strikeouts without issuing free passes. His stunning professional K/BB ratio of 190/29 speaks for itself.

The Oakdale, California product is listed at 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds, so it's hard to project additional velocity in the future. Great changeups are few and very far between, however, and a guy with location plus movement can be a 4/5 starter - provided his fastball has just enough oomph to keep hitters honest. I think Whiting will be one of those guys, provided his arm can withstand the rigors of 30+ innings per month. - BobReed

Brian Walton (32): Maybe Whiting has a bit of Albert Pujols in him – finding motivation through a perceived lack of respect. The Cardinals organization's Player of the Month this July received our similar nod last August, followed by our Johnson City Starting Pitcher of the Year Award, yet he received nary a single vote from our three voters in their top 46 Cardinals prospects one year ago.

This is one of those cases where current performance may outweigh potential. In a recent report, Derrick Goold shared word that Whiting received consideration for the organization's Player of the Year Award for 2011. Obviously, Whiting was impressive in the Midwest League, but there are many potential pitfalls ahead before he might reach St. Louis.

Whiting's curve is around 73-74 mph with his slider at 76-80 MPH. In other words, his high strikeout rate seems fueled by an ability to throw strikes consistently at three different speeds. His lack of a sinker, a below-average ground ball rate and a .243 BABIP last season are among the concerns beyond his size and fastball velocity noted above.

Our 2012 top 40 countdown continues: To see the list of top Cardinals prospects announced to date and remaining article schedule, click here. You can also read each of the voters' philosophies in making their selections.

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