June 22, 2021

Let’s Talk About Kodi Whitley (Viva El Birdos)

Earlier this week, Aaron wrote about the team’s startlingly deep relief corps (https://www.vivaelbirdos.com/2019/11/20/20973930/the-2020-bullpen-depth-chart). I must confess, I was a little frustrated: I’d tabbed that as my own topic for this week, and he did it better than I would have. Instead, though, I’d like to take a short, deep-ish dive into one of those relief prospects today.

I’m overjoyed to report that I’ll be contributing the Cardinals player profiles to the 2020 Baseball Prospectus Annual. When we finalized my list of 68 players to talk about, there were 67 players I’d heard of before. The 68th? Kodi Whitley. It’s not an exaggeration to say that I’d never heard the name, which is phenomenally rare in this modern era of prospect clutching and 50-deep farm system reports.

More or less concurrently with my first seeing his name, Whitley was sent to the Arizona Fall League. It was well-deserved after his frankly ridiculous 2019. He wasn’t really a strikeout artist before this year — and then he overwhelmed Double-A. His 1.83 ERA was tremendous, and it was backed up by the peripherals; a 27.9% strikeout rate is awesome, a 7.9% walk rate is great,…

Read “Let’s Talk About Kodi Whitley” at Viva El Birdos