21-Year-Old Outfielder – Tampa Bay Rays
2018 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
When the Rays selected Whitley with the 13th overall pick in 2015, they were not expecting him to hit right away in pro ball, as he was a prep player from upstate New York with little exposure to qual...
Garrett Whitley Contract Information:
Signed a contract with the Rays in June 2015 that includes a $2.962 million signing bonus.
Whitley underwent surgery to repair a torn right labrum and will miss the 2018 season, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
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Tampa Bay Rays Roster
MajorsAdames, Willy (SS)
AABoldt, Ryan (OF)
A+Cronenworth, Jake (SS)
ABrujan, Vidal (2B)
RookieBetts, Chris (C)
Garrett Whitley: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
The 19-year-old Whitley had what would be considered a breakout season in 2016 at Low-A Hudson Valley, slashing .266/.356/.379 with a homer, 30 RBI and 21 stolen bases over 292 plate appearances. The numbers were up across the board for the 13th overall pick of 2015, who saw the most extensive playing time of his young career after making his season debut on June 17. One of the more intriguing aspects of his game to monitor in 2017 will be his power, which has been virtually non-existent to date. Improved plate discipline should also be an area of improvement as Whitley gets more seasoning throughout the coming season, as he's posted a 71 percent contact rate in each of his last two minor league stops, along with strikeout rates above 25 percent in both stints. Given his pedigree and stellar high school career, he certainly makes for an intriguing dynasty league candidate, with his talent level likely to enable him to bolster his present weaknesses over time.
Whitley, the 13th overall pick in the 2015 draft, had a really tough time at the plate in his first taste of pro ball. As an 18-year-old he hit .174/.293/.312 with three home runs and eight steals in 42 games between rookie and short season leagues. While this opens up an opportunity to get him at a discount in dynasty league drafts, it also highlights the risk associated with the profile. Whitley had a 37:21 K:BB in 138 at-bats, so his approach is fine for someone his age, but he really struggled to barrel balls, as evidenced by a sub-.215 BABIP at both stops. He may have the most fantasy upside of any position player in the Rays system, as a potential 20/20 player down the road, but he is at least four years away from The Show, and if his hit tool does not improve, he could be one of the bigger busts from that draft class.