Simon Whiteman, IF
BATS: R / THROWS: R
ACQUIRED: Drafted 2019, 9th Round
LAST LEVEL: Double-A
GiantFutures 2022 Ranks: #3 Super Utility, #31 Overall
Performance: After a solid debut in Short and Low A-ball, Simon Whiteman got his start in High-A and made a nice impression, getting on base and stealing more bases. He hit .268/.413/.366, and stole 17 bases in 19 attempts. He earned a promotion to Double-A in mid-June, where he was more challenged, as it took him five games to collect his first hit. Whiteman hit just .236 in Double-A, but still had a .338 on-base percentage, and still stole another 17 bases on 19 attempts, ranking 11th in the Eastern League despite playing just 71 games there.
In the field, Whiteman mostly played the middle infield spots, with 52 games at second base and 27 games at shortstop. He also played seven games at third, and later in the season, was moved to the outfield, where he played 14 games in center for the first time in his pro career. He did collect ten errors overall across the different positions, so he wasn’t the most sure-handed player, but he did the job and had plenty of range.
Strengths and Weaknesses: Whiteman’s biggest strength is his speed, as he is the fastest baserunner in the system, at least at the higher levels. It’s almost disappointing he didn’t get a full season to see it get used at the levels where new baserunning rules were allowed. Unlike many speedy players, Whiteman pairs it with an ability to draw walks, letting him use that speed on the basepaths. His range gives him a plus tool as a defender, though he could do better with the ball once he gets to it. The move to center field gives him another tool in his defensive utility, at a premium position where his speed is put to good use.
At the plate, however, Whiteman isn’t an overwhelming force. He managed to hit for enough contact at Single-A to pair with walks, but he doesn’t have the batspeed to hit for much power. However, while his contact suffered at Richmond, he did manage to begin hitting a lot of doubles and a triple, and even hit his first four pro home runs in total on the season. Long-term, he’s probably most dangerous for doubles and triples, and half of that will be because of his speed.
2022 Outlook: Chances are that Whiteman will be back in Richmond to get a second chance at hitting enough at the level, where he could be competing for utility time with both Will Wilson and Brett Auerbach. Whiteman probably has the best chance to get a quick promotion to Triple-A.
Future Profile: Whiteman probably doesn’t have enough bat to be an every day player at one position, but Whiteman has an up-the-middle defensive profile, including the center field role that the Giants had positioned Mauricio Dubón for previously, and possibly still. Whiteman could capture a multi-use role, defensive replacement, and pinch-runner.