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Prospect Profile: Garrett Whitlock

Not all top prospects get drafted in the early rounds, as illustrated by Garrett Whitlock, a right-handed pitcher the Yankees drafted out of the University of Alabama-Birmingham in the 18th round of the 2017 Draft. To be fair, Whitlock was slated to go much earlier, but he was less than a sure signing given his college eligibility and a back injury saw him lose some value. Still, the Yankees scooped him up, offered him an above slot bonus of $247,500 and signed him.

Name: Garrett Whitlock Birthdate: June 11, 1996 Position: Pitcher Bats/Throws: R/R Height: 6’5” Weight: 190

After signing, Whitlock threw 14.1 innings for two Yankees’ Rookie teams. He made three starts with the Gulf Coast League Yankees West team and then saw a couple games with Pulaski. He allowed only seven runs (six earned) on fourteen hits and no walks. He also struck out twenty-two opposing hitters. All in all, it was a promising start that he built on in 2018.

Whitlock started this past season off very strong, pitching twenty-six straight scoreless innings between April and May. Splitting time between Charleston, Trenton and Tampa, he went 8-5 with a 1.86 ERA over 23 games and 21 starts. Opposing hitters had a .214 average against Whitlock who had 122 Ks and only 41 walks and three homers.

When Whitlock was in college, he leaned on his two-seam fastball, which sits in the low-to-mid 90s with sink. He has added a four-seam fastball that he can throw mid-90s deep into a game. His next best pitch is a power slider. A solid changeup rounds out his repertoire and is particularly effective against lefties. His long frame combined with a lower arm slot makes him a deceptive pitcher.

The young hurler has already surpassed expectations, at least for the immediate time, as he has worked his way through the system. He had decent control in college, but since turning pro he seems to have taken that up a level. He still has a lot to prove, but it wouldn’t be unrealistic to see him in the Bronx in a couple years.

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