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Giants end nice first day of the draft with #69 pick LHP Joe Whitman

Whitman’s potential caps a day of nothing but upside.

MLB: San Diego Padres at San Francisco Giants Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco Giants wrapped up their evening of prospect theft by adding to their minor league pitching depth in LHP Joe Whitman from Kent State.

Like 1B/RHP Bryce Eldridge and SS Walker Martin, Whitman had been projected by most major outlets as being either a first round talent or a top 40 pick. The Giants got him as their third pick of the day and 69th overall. What does he bring to the table? FanGraphs:

Breaking ball command is incredibly important to the Braves and Whitman arguably has the best slider feel in the whole draft. Plus, they tend to like guys who might just be scratching the surface and Whitman has very few college innings compared to many other juniors.

MLB Pipeline:

Scouts have bemoaned the lack of quality college left-handers in the 2023 Draft, but Whitman’s growth has been a pleasant development as he has moved to the top of that group.


Whitman’s fastball operates at 91-94 mph and hits 96 with riding action, playing up a bit because he locates it well. His best offering is a low-80s slider that he commands even better than his fastball and features horizontal and vertical action. His low-80s changeup features some fade and sink but lags behind his other two pitches


he has pounded the zone with his fastball and slider all spring. He has performed well and maintained his stuff throughout the season, establishing himself as a legitimate three-pitch starter.

Here’s some useful video:

He struck out 100 in 81 innings for Kent State this season after transferring from Purdue where the less said about his time there the better. On MLB Network broadcast, somebody commented that he had good appearances in the Cape Cod League (where they have wooden bats!) and, indeed, a quick look at Baseball Reference shows 3 starts, 10.2 IP, 14 K, 2 BB, 6 H 2 R 1 earned).

The Giants were in the position to draft this lefty because of the lefty they let walk in the offseason. As Alex Pavlovic points out: