22 June 2011

Cup of jO's (June 22, 2011): Karsten Whitson makes us look smart

Game Wrap
Pirates 9, Baltimore 3
Box Score / Play-By-Play / AP Summary

Another start from Jeremy Guthrie, another punchless night for the offense. Granted, this time around Guthrie contributed to his own demise allow five runs in the first three innings before settling down and lasting into the seventh. Baltimore was 0-7 with runners in scoring position, and solo homers from J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones highlighted an otherwise pedestrian night at the plate for the Birds. Zach Britton will try to right the ship this afternoon -- click here for a preview of the 12:35 pm (eastern) conclusion to the three game series with the Bucs, and nine game road trip. Baltimore currently sits 3 - 5 over that span.

Of interest...
Of interest to me this morning was the College World Series. I've been prepping for a number of summer scouting trips (including the Tournament of Stars this week/weekend) and have not been able to follow the games live. But I did catch Aaron Fitt's (Baseball America) blog entry recapping of Karsten Whitson's start for the University of Florida. Readers will recall that Whitson was our pick in last year's Shadow Draft as the #3 overall talent in the class behind Bryce Harper and Jameson Taillon.

While it seemed crazy to most that we would rate Whitson ahead of fellow prep standout and actual Orioles selection Manny Machado, that ranking doesn't look quite so crazy a year removed. That's not to say that Whitson has established himself as a better talent. Far from it. We will need much more time to figure out which of these two studs is ultimately the more valuable "get". But Whitson has impressed everyone, stepping into the weekend rotation as a true freshman at one of the top programs in the country. His stat line for the year includes a 2.42 ERA, 81.2 IP over 16 starts, a .238 BAA, 8.49 SO/9, 2.64 BB/9, just two homeruns allowed and a spotless (and admittedly meaningless) 8-0 record. Click here for College Splits breakdown with normalized numbers, as well.

Florida remains undefeated thus far in pool play, and it's highly likely that if they make the championship we will see Whitson again. Make sure to tune in and take a gander at the fastball/slider combo, impressive command and projectable build that has him atop follow lists for 2013, and the frontrunner to go first overall. Each of the CWS games are being televised on the ESPN Family of Networks, including live streaming online at ESPN 3.

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