Prospectus Preview: Close to the Bigs, Robert Whitenack
(Photo by Rodger Wood)
Other Prospectus Previews:
Though much of the Cubs team is already set heading into Spring Training, a solid showing in Mesa might just give some players a chance to squeeze onto the Opening Day roster.
Robert Whitenack, who was was selected in the 2009 draft by the Cubs, will get his second consecutive invitation to major league training camp in 2013. With an already crowded rotation, it’s likely the 6-foot-5 right-hander will get some seasoning in Double-A Tennessee to start the year. However, Whitenack was one of 12 Cubs prospects in attendance for last month’s Rookie Development Program, a series of practices and seminars designed to help players who should be ready for the bigs in the near future.
Whitenack is just one of more than 60 players covered in Vine Line’s annual Minor League Prospectus. The issue is on newsstands now, with single issues are available by calling 800-618-8377. It’s an exhaustive rundown, perfect for Spring Training and beyond.
P | Robert Whitenack
Born: 11/20/88 in North Massapequa, N.Y.
Acquired: 2009 Draft (8)
Tools: Fastball, Curveball
2012 STATS (High-A): 5.96 ERA, 51.1 IP, 70 H, 27 BB, 31 K
Command and control are often the last things to come back after Tommy John surgery, and Whitenack’s feel just wasn’t there in 2012. His 2011 campaign—in which he had a 1.93 ERA and reached Double-A—won over many Cubs talent evaluators. The front office is hoping he steps up and surprises this year. Before the injury, Whitenack had a power sinker with a big hammer curve and a good change-up. He’s been added to the 40-man roster, so if he can regain his command, he could eat up innings at the back of the big league rotation.
Other players featured in this section: Infielders Junior Lake, Logan Watkins and Josh Vitters; outfielders Brett Jackson and Matt Szczur; and pitchers Alberto Cabrera, Trey McNutt, Brooks Raley, Nick Struck and Tony Zych.
Plus, tidbits on LHP Frank Del Valle, IF Justin Bour, OF Jae-Hoon Ha, LHP Austin Kirk, LHP Chris Rusin, RHP Marcus Hatley, RHP Dallas Beeler and RHP Matt Loosen.