For those who tell you Whitendon will be nothing... there is some validity. He's not exactly blessed with anything spectacular. Also... success in Savannah doesn't translate into success ANYWHERE else. What you have to like is well... his ERA for 2011: 2.49, His K/9 for 2011: 9.56 and his WHIP: 1.12. I'm not a scout and I don't live near enough to Savannah to make any of the games but it would appear that scouts aren't that impressed.
Whitendon Scouting Report:
I tend to look at results in the minors and focus on one key thing... PROGRESSION. Whitendon flopped in Savannah in 2010 but in 2011 he was a soaring success. In 2012 he'll move to Port St. Lucie and as long as he doesn't flame out he continues to slowly rise through the ranks to the exalted role of innings eater.
In game action, Whitenton works up in the zone with an 89-91 MPH fastball, 81-83 MPH changeup, and slurvy, mid-70′s curveball.
In all honesty, I probably liked Whitenton more than most as I see a couple of more miles in his frame and easy arm action. However, a scout commented the downward plane on his fastball was non-existent implying Whitenton will have significant difficulties at higher levels with his current repertoire.
And while it’s unlikely Whitenton will reach the big leagues without a spike in velocity AND significant refinement of his breaking pitches, the Mets have done much worse in terms of drafting small college arms with little to no upside.
Fulmer did not have a great splash into the minors with a few flame-out outings that showed he could get people to K but also that he's got a few problems to work out. Anyone who can reach the vaunted 95 MPH on the radar gun has a chance of being an impact in the majors but being almost a decade younger than me... he's hardly CLOSE.
Fulmer Scouting Report:
Fulmer is an attractive combination of stuff and polish. After a velocity bump this past spring, Fulmer is now throwing in the low-90s and can touch 95 from time to time. With a 6-3, 200-lb. frame, he might have a little bit more projection left in the tank, but the body is pretty mature right now. He's actually bordering on soft-bodied, and conditioning will be important for him going forward. In addition to the fastball, he throws a curve (which I've also seen referred to as a slider) and a changeup. While Fulmer's coaches even refer to the pitch as a slider, it acts more like a curve, but whatever you call it, it's impressive. He throws it with tight rotation and it has big downward break, coming in around 78. Even better: he can throw the pitch for strikes. He also has a changeup, but that's pretty much a non-factor right now, as is common with high school arms. But despite that, it's rare to see a prep curve ball as consistent as Fulmer's and it implies that he might move a little faster than most high school arms.The battle between Gaming and Gifted pitchers comes down to a battle of odds. Odds are that Whitendon will continue a slow plodding progress up the ranks towards AAA. If he stops there... nobody would be surprised, but in all likelihood he could reach AAA in the next 3-4 years without much imagination. Fulmer, on the other hand, could spend 2-3 years in rookie ball before finding himself and he might NEVER find himself at all.
I give round 1 to the Gamers as Fulmer's ETA could be anywhere between 4 and 8 years.