TCN 2014 Cards Prospect #30: Boone Whiting

The very solid right-hander may be caught in the middle of the ranks in a very good St. Louis Cardinals farm system.

The Cardinal Nation/ Player Profile
(including links to full 2013 and career stats)

School: Centenary College

2013 rank Pos. DOB Ht. Wt. Bat Thw Signed Round
25 RHS 8/20/1989 6-2 175 R R 2010 18th

Selected 2013 stats

Spr 3 2 2.93 2.81 6 6 0 30.2 28 14 2 7 34 0.87 0.237 0.313
Mem 5 5 4.09 3.84 21 21 0 105 107 51 11 40 99 0.50 0.261 0.312
Total 8 7 3.83   27 27 0 136 135 65 13 47 133 0.57 0.256  

Staff comments (individual rankings in parentheses)

Message board community (31): Ranked by the community at number 24 last year, Boone Whiting falls down seven spots to 32nd this year. Whiting was really the innings-eating horse for the Memphis rotation as he tossed 105 2/3 innings pitched in 21 starts (136 1/3 innings pitched overall between Springfield and Memphis). He also showed great swing-and-miss stuff by averaging nearly nine strikeouts per nine innings in 2014.

I had the opportunity to see one of Whiting's starts in Springfield before he was promoted to Memphis. He did not look as big as what is listed - maybe around 5-foot-11 seems more realistic. Whiting looked and set up like Joe Kelly on the mound minus the goggles.

He showed a four-seam fastball, sitting around 85-90 mph, that is his pitch to get ahead of hitters. Whiting also has a heavy sinking two-seamer that can be a ground-ball pitch. Last in his arsenal of pitches was his extremely deceptive change-up that he used well to throw off hitters. They cannot stay back on when his fastball is working and he is ahead in the count.

Whiting is just a deceptive dude enhanced by a high arm slot. The bad thing about that high arm slot is that he can work up in the zone at times and his pitches can be easily hit hard. The only way I see Whiting sticking in the major league rotation is if he can add some juice to his fastball by improving arm strength. Either way he could have a future in middle relief.

This spring, I think we will see Whiting get a good look at in major-league camp before being sent back down to Memphis - if he isn't lost in the Rule 5 Draft, which is a possibility. - DTFlush234

Brian Walton (29): Whiting may suffer most from being a very good pitcher in an organization with some great ones. I was a bit surprised when he was not protected prior to the Rule 5 draft, especially when Memphis rotation stalwarts Richard Castillo and Nick Additon departed as free agents.

When the Cardinals signed free agent pitcher Angel Castro the day before the draft and even placed him on the 40-man ahead of Whiting, it led me to think two things. First, the Cardinals are not so high on Whiting that they are willing to use a roster spot on him despite having had four openings, and second, they seem to be preparing for the possibility of Whiting's departure.

Of course, the reality of the Rule 5 process is that unless Whiting can stick on a major league roster for the entire 2014 season, the option will eventually be created for him to be returned to the Cardinals, anyway. I do not think that matters all that much. If St. Louis saw a clear MLB future ahead for Whiting, they would have protected him in the first place. To me, it seems that simple.

I really think that in this case, it may be best for Whiting's career for him to get a shot at competing in another organization, anyway. After all, if he stays, he would likely play the Additon role of Memphis innings-eater who might never receive "the call."

In the past, pitchers in that boat like P.J. Walters and Brandon Dickson did manage to reach St. Louis briefly, but the ranks are more crowded today. As a result, we may see this pattern continue as good prospects for whom there is not a clear fit in St. Louis end up moving on. It is one price of system-wide success.

Our 2014 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 the voters' philosophies in making their selections.

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