UF commit likely to sign with Padres

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Major League Baseball held the first round of the 2010 MLB Draft Monday night and Florida’s 2010 recruiting class took a major hit early in the broadcast. With the ninth pick, the San Diego Padres drafted Chipley High right-handed pitcher and Gator commit Karsten Whitson.

It will be hard for the 6-foot-4, 190-pound prospect to turn down the opportunity to sign with the Padres after getting drafted so early.

“This is going to be a big kid,” MLB Network analyst John Hart said of Whitson during Monday night’s broadcast. “He’s got a lot of room to fill. He’s got an out-pitch slider, right now. He’s going to have a plus-fastball. This is a very good pick — really big upside without a lot of risks. This is a good looking, young high school pitcher.”

Prospectwire.com ranked Whitson as the No. 2 high school prospect in the state of Florida and the second-best pitcher in the country. He was a part of the 18U National Trials Team in 2009.

He’s touched 95 mph with his fastball, and here’s what Perfectgame.com says about Whitson: “Long and slender athletic build, plus projection. Smooth delivery, maintains balance/direction well. Extremely quick, smooth and easy arm. Fastball was steady at 92-94 mph, has shown even more, plus sinking life on fastball, works fastball to spots up and down, primary fastball pitcher, maintains velocity from stretch. Slider is late and sharp at times, gets off barrel late, could add a bit more velocity to slider. Didn’t throw change in dome. Sky is the limit talent, early draft prospect.”

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