Carson Whisenhunt Fantasy Baseball Preview

Taking a look at Carson Whisenhunt after a strong 2023 season.

The first time I had the privilege of watching Carson Whisenhunt pitch was in the summer of 2022. I was a first-year intern with the Orleans Firebirds in the Cape Cod Baseball League, and we were slated to go up against Whisenhunt’s Chatham Anglers during Fourth of July weekend. Very few people around the organization knew what to expect from Whisenhunt, as he missed the entire 2022 collegiate season due to a PED suspension and would be making just his fourth appearance on the Cape. However on that day in July, he showed me and hundreds of others a glimpse of what was to come over the next two years. Against Orleans, he went five innings, allowing just three hits and one run. It would be his best outing on the Cape, and his final one before being drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the second round that summer.

Two years later, Whisenhunt is a top-100 prospect in baseball, coming in at #83. He has put together two strong seasons and now finds himself near the call-up to the Majors. Whisenhunt will likely start the year in AA, as he put together six strong outings there to end the 2023 season. The Giants lack depth in their Major League rotation, as Keaton Winn and Tristan Beck are projected to start the year in the fourth and fifth rotation spots. The options for the Giants in AAA are also less than inspiring, so Whisenhunt will have the chance to earn an audition with a strong start to 2024.

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Carson Whisenhunt Fantasy Baseball Breakdown


Who is Carson Whisenhunt?


2023 Stats: (A/A+/AA) 58.2 IP | 2.45 ERA | 1.02 WHIP | 35.3 K% | 9.8 BB%

Whisenhunt’s value was sky-high after the 2021 college baseball season. The tall left-hander was excellent for East Carolina, putting together a 6-2 record with a 3.77 ERA and 79 strikeouts in 62.0 innings. The Pirates went 44-17 that year, and Whisenhunt along with Cleveland’s Gavin Williams were two of the main reasons why. Whisenhunt would have been one of the most intriguing arms in the 2022 season but was ruled ineligible by the NCAA after being found guilty of taking PEDs. He claimed that his supplement was “purchased at a nationwide nutrition store.”

Whisenhunt was largely seen as a first-round talent in the 2022 Draft, but the questions regarding the PED charge led to his value diminishing. The Giants took a risk selecting him late in the second round, but to date, he has proven that he was a valuable addition to the organization. In the 2022 Arizona Fall League, Whisenhunt showed flashes of brilliance in a limited sample size. The southpaw allowed just two runs in 6.1 innings, striking out 11. He parlayed that form into a strong 2023 season. Over three levels he showed his ability to strike out hitters (K/9 > 12 at all three levels) and while he struggled with walks at AA, his track record of limiting walks before his promotion is indicative that he should be able to adapt.

Whisenhunt is now the top pitching prospect in the Giants organization yet to reach the Major Leagues. Kyle Harrison will likely start the year in the top three of San Francisco’s rotation, and Whisenhunt will likely follow suit sooner rather than later. Whisenhunt had the lowest WHIP among Giants pitchers with more than 50 minor-league innings under their belt (1.02) to go along with the third-best strikeout rate (35.3%). There have been some questions about whether or not he can handle the durability required to be a Major League caliber starter. He has suffered from elbow problems in the past and has only mustered 66.1 innings in professional baseball. Even with the questions, a 2.17 career ERA in the minors and a strikeout rate above 13 in those two seasons warrant paying attention to the southpaw in 2024.


Carson Whisenhunt’s Arsenal



Fangraphs grades this pitch at a 40 right now, which I felt was a little harsh. Whisenhunt doesn’t light up radar guns like some of the other top pitching prospects do, but his 3/4 delivery in combination with his ability to locate up in the zone make this pitch very effective. He sits around 93-94 and can run it up to 97. It has some slight sink to it, but the movement on it isn’t enough to strike batters out, when he’s able to locate it, hitters struggle against the heater. The crown jewel of Whisenhunt’s arsenal is his changeup, so his ability to locate the fastball is paramount to the success of the rest of his repertoire.


Of the three pitches in Whisenhunt’s repertoire, the curve is the one that needs the most attention. It is not a bad pitch by any means, but there have been questions about his ability to command it, as well as the less prominent vertical break in comparison to Major League-level curves. Whisenhunt’s breaker has the movement of more of a “power-curve” variation but doesn’t have the velocity that those types of curves have. Going forward, he will likely either need to add more vertical action or add velocity to the offering to make it a stronger weapon at the Big League level.


Scouts have been raving about Whisenhunt’s changeup since he burst onto the scene in 2021, and it’s clear to see why. The velocity separation of roughly 8-10 miles per hour, in combination with the arm side fade that he generates, makes it hard to differentiate between it and the fastball. Right-handers struggle immensely against the change, as the late fade takes the pitch out of the zone and away from barrels. Whisenhunt’s changeup will be the pitch that gives him the most success at the next level, and it has the potential to be one of the best-offspeed offerings in Major League Baseball.


Carson Whisenhunt’s Fantasy Baseball Projection


The Giants have not been as active in the free agency and trade markets as many had predicted. After being linked with Shohei Ohtani, Blake Snell, and many others, their only major addition to the rotation has been Jordan Hicks. Whisenhunt has a long way to go, and there are questions about whether or not he will be able to be a true workhorse, but he should have an opportunity to show his talents on the big stage in 2024.

His competition in the Giants’ farm system is, well, less than stellar. Mason Black and Kai-Wei Teng headline a AAA rotation that has a pretty low ceiling. Tommy Romero and Daulton Jeffries will likely see Major League service time should anything happen to the current members of the rotation. Still, they should be viewed as nothing more than temporary placeholders.

Whisenhunt has received an invite to Major League spring training, and it will be intriguing to see where a strong performance will land him when camp breaks. If he dominates in March as he has in Single-A, then the Giants could be forced to fast-track him to AAA to start 2024. Whisenhunt has by far the highest ceiling of any pitching prospect in the Giants system, so he likely receive a Major League audition by the summer of next season.

Whisenhunt’s current ADP according to sits at around pick #750. For a high-ceiling left-hander who will likely make his big-league debut in 2024, this is an extremely mild draft capital sacrifice to make. If you need prospect pitching depth late on in your league’s draft, Whisenhunt is a perfect candidate to stash in the minors until he inevitably gets his call up to the show.

Jack Mueller

Jack Mueller is an incoming graduate student at Miami University studying Sport Management. Before joining PitcherList, Jack worked for the Orleans Firebirds (Cape Cod Baseball League) and the Chicago Dogs (American Association) as an advance scout and data analyst.

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