MLB Draft Profile: Tyler Whitaker

MLB Draft Profile: Tyler Whitaker

by July 2, 2021 1 comment

The 2021 MLB Draft will begin on July 11, 2021. We take a look at Tyler Whitaker, a right fielder with a great balance of size, power, and arm strength.

Make sure to check out all of our other MLB Draft Profiles.

Tyler Whitaker, Outfielder, Bishop Norman (Nev.)

Height: 6’4″
Weight: 190 lbs.
Age: 18
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
2021: 18G, .508/.575/.966, 30 H, 32 RBI, 5 HR, 9 BB, 6 K

Scouting Grades

Hit: 50
Power: 55
Run: 60
Field: 50
Throw: 60

Whitaker is a well-rounded player who has demonstrated an ability to hit for both contact and power. Defensively, he projects to stick in right field long-term thanks to a strong arm. 

Strengths

Offensively, Whitaker’s biggest strength is his potential for power. He has demonstrated a true potential for power-hitting and could start to produce loud contact on a very consistent basis at the next level. This past season, he also showed that he can hit for contact, which adds value to his ability at the plate. Still, the potential for raw power is what excites scouts most here.

Whitaker also possesses a very strong arm in right field. Formerly a shortstop and third baseman, it’s no surprise that the 18-year-old’s cannon has carried over into his role in the outfield. With merely average running and fielding tools, Whitaker is able to stick in right field and add to his draft stock thanks to his strong arm.

Finally, Whitaker possesses above-average speed, especially for someone his size. He was clocked at a blazing 6.39 seconds while running a 60-yard dash recently.

Weaknesses

I mentioned that Whitaker has improved in terms of hitting for contact, and it was nice to see him draw more walks than strikeouts this past season. Still, swings and misses are a legitimate concern and this could certainly impact his draft stock if teams have any concerns whatsoever.

Pro Comparison: Hunter Renfroe

There are plenty of similarities between Whitaker and Renfroe, who is currently excelling as the Boston Red Sox’ everyday right fielder. The 29-year-old is 6-foot-1 and 230 pounds, so he’s not quite the same size as the high school prospect. Still, their offensive output has a lot in common, starting with power. Renfroe has already hit 12 homers from the right side of the plate this year, and he launched 85 from 2017 to 2019 with the San Diego Padres. He puts the ball in play and doesn’t draw a tremendous amount of walks, posting a 7.9 percent walk rate and 21.3 percent strikeout rate this year. In the field, he has shown that he has the best arm among all corner outfielders in the game, turning an MLB-most three double plays from right field.

Draft Projection: First-Round Pick

Whitaker is widely viewed as an early second-round pick, but I think he’ll sneak into the first. He has the tools to stay in right field long-term, meaning teams won’t need to put him in left or at designated hitter. He also has impressive size and an ability to launch baseballs out of the field. All in all, there is a lot to like about Whitaker. He has plenty of potential and should be a first-round selection this July.


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Main Image Credit: Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal

Andersen is a teenage sportswriter and reporter whose articles have appeared across the Prime Time Sports Talk, Sports Illustrated Kids, FantasyPros, and SB Nation platforms. He has also received credit from RotoWorld, CBS Sports, ESPN, Bleacher Report, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, The Athletic, SB Nation, NBC Sports, NY Post, and dozens of other sports sites for his reporting work.

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