The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com Player Profile
(including links to full 2011 and career stats)
Selected 2011 stats
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 TheCardinalNation.com 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.
Not yet a subscriber to The Cardinal Nation? Join today for as little as $7.95 after our seven-day free trial and be able to read all our Top 40 articles and much more exclusive content.
There's more! Want access to the all details behind our Cardinals prospect rankings in our "Forty Days, Forty Nights, Forty Prospects" feature here at The Cardinal Nation?
Subscribe now to our annual pass and receive in the spring the 2012 FOX Fantasy Guide / Scout Prospect Guide, sold at newsstands nationwide for $4.95, for FREE. The perfect hardcopy companion to "Forty Days" includes the top prospects from all 30 MLB organizations and much more. We author the Cardinals section of the guide as always.
© 2011 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com and stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.