Whisenhunt displays electric stuff in brief Triple-A season debut

April 1st, 2024

The Giants are already loaded with a starting rotation consisting of Logan Webb, Blake Snell, Jordan Wicks and Kyle Harrison, but a young arm is strong-arming his way toward San Francisco.

In his 2024 debut, struck out six batters while allowing just one hit over three scoreless innings in Triple-A Sacramento's 1-0 win over Salt Lake on Sunday afternoon at Sutter Health Park.

“It'd be really cool to get the opportunity to go up there and be with those guys,” Whisenhunt said. “I'm trying not to look that far ahead. Just trying to get back into the field and take care of things. And if I get the opportunity to go out there, I’ll take advantage of it.”

MLB Pipeline's No. 80 overall prospect allowed just one hit -- a single grounded to right field by Livan Soto, the second batter he faced -- and racked up 12 swings-and-misses.

The 23-year-old’s arsenal is equipped with a sinker, a slider and a curveball. On Sunday, Whisenhunt generated five whiffs with his sinker, which topped at 95 mph. His changeup accounted for seven whiffs.

“I've been working on a bunch of different things through Spring Training and the offseason,” Whisenhunt said. “I feel like all of my pitches were really good today. There were a few misses that I can work on and get better at, but for just that first time back out there, an actual game felt really good.”

Whisenhunt put himself on the map last year. In 16 appearances, he posted a 2.45 ERA and held hitters to a .177 average-against in 58 2/3 innings between Double- and Triple-A. He ascended from the club's No. 8 prospect slot to No. 3 this season.

“I’m not trying to do too much on the mound,” Whisenhunt said about last season's success. “I’m trying not to overthink it or do anything out of the ordinary. Coming into this year, I'm trying to keep that same mindset, just trying to stay myself.”

His numbers are even more impressive when you consider that he was shut down late last July with a left elbow sprain. Remaining healthy was a key priority for Whisenhunt during the offseason.

Having already mastered his changeup and sinker, the East Carolina product also spent time working on command and developing his curveball. He only threw it twice for the River Cats in Sunday's game, but already feels like progress has been made.