The 2022 MLB draft is rapidly approaching. Here at Reviewing the Brew we will be profiling potential draft prospects for the Brewers. Let’s look at a left-handed starting pitcher out of East Carolina University in Carson Whisenhunt.
Carson Whisenhunt jumped up the MLB draft boards after an incredible 2021 season. Across 13 starts he pitched 72 innings, had a 3.77 ERA, and struck out 79 batters. He finished with an 11.47 K:9 ratio and 1.16 WHIP.
2021 was his first season in the Pirates rotation and he started off his campaign with a pair of double digit strikeout games. During seven of his starts he allowed two or less earned runs. In the post season he made three appearances, threw 13 innings, and also struck out 13 batters.
Whisenhunt’s best pitch is his changeup. In 2021, that pitch generated a 59% whiff rate as the 82-85 MPH pitch possesses a lot of downward movement as it approaches the plate. His fastball will sit in the 91-95 MPH range, but at times he can struggle with throwing strikes. He has been known to throw a mid to high 70s curveball as well, but he seldom throws this pitch.
As for his 2022 statistics, Whisenhunt did not pitch collegiately due to receiving a year-long suspension from the NCAA. He tested positive for a performance enhancing drug. Should that scare the Brewers off?
In a statement from Whisenhunt, he indicated that the positive test came due to buying a supplement at a national nutritional chain store. For East Carolina University that meant they lost their Friday night starter, fans lost the ability to see an elite pitching prospect with arguably the best changeup in college baseball, and Whisenhunt himself lost the ability to play competitively and improve his draft stock.
With not pitching during the 2022 college baseball season, he has fallen a bit in mock drafts. MLB has him projected to be drafted 36th. The Brewers have the 27th pick this year, so taking him in the first round could be considered a reach in some eyes. But he is pitching in the Cape Cod League this summer to showcase his stuff for scouts to boost his stock before the draft.
On the flip side, Whisenhunt has a ton of upside in which he could be a mid rotation starter after he fully develops. He will need to develop at least one more pitch in order to reach this potential.
His floor is very high and his swing and miss ability makes him a very intriguing prospect for the Brewers who are known for having a secret pitching lab and having one of the best pitching staffs in baseball.