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Whitley Thrilled To Play In The South


Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Michigan Senior Writer

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Whitley Thrilled To Play In The South

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Fletcher Whitley

Class of 2021 / LHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2021
  • Primary Position: LHP
    Secondary Position: 1B
  • High School: Saline
    State: MI
  • Summer Team: Five Star 17U National (TX)
  • Height: 6-6
    Weight: 230lbs
  • Bat/Throw: L/L

Statistics

Pitching
84
Max FB
(03/07/20)
83 - 84
FB
(03/07/20)
72 - 74
CB
(10/05/19)
72 - 74
CH
(10/05/19)
Pitching
Max FB
82
FB
78 - 81
CB
69 - 70
Pitching
Max FB
84
FB
83 - 84
CB
70 - 71
CH
71 - 74
Pitching
Max FB
83
FB
79 - 83
CB
71 - 72
CH
73 - 74
Pitching
Max FB
83
FB
80 - 82
CB
72 - 74
CH
72 - 74
Position
7.58
60-yard
(06/18/19)
75
INF Velo
(02/09/19)
82
OF Velo
(02/09/19)
76
Exit Velo
(02/09/19)
Trackman - Fastball
81.5
Velocity (max)
(06/16/20)
76.9
Eff Velocity (avg)
(06/16/20)
2121
Spin Rate (max)
(06/16/20)
1991
Spin Rate (avg)
(06/16/20)
Trackman - Fastball
Velocity (max)
81.5
Velo Range
79.3 - 80.9
Eff Velocity (avg)
76.9
Spin Rate (max)
2121
Spin Rate (avg)
1991
IVB (max)
IVB (avg)
HM (max)
HM (avg)
Extension (avg)
Release Ht (avg)
Spin Score (max)
Zone %
Trackman - Curveball
71.1
Velocity (max)
(06/16/20)
67.4
Eff Velocity (avg)
(06/16/20)
1874
Spin Rate (max)
(06/16/20)
1719
Spin Rate (avg)
(06/16/20)
Trackman - Curveball
Velocity (max)
71.1
Velo Range
69.6 - 71.1
Eff Velocity (avg)
67.4
Spin Rate (max)
1874
Spin Rate (avg)
1719
IVB (max)
IVB (avg)
HM (max)
HM (avg)
Extension (avg)
Release Ht (avg)
Spin Score (max)

Whitley Thrilled To Play In The South

SALINE - Fletcher Whitley acquired a taste of the south this summer and came away impressed.

In fact, so much so that the Saline senior has made a commitment to Tennessee.

“I mostly played this summer in the south,” explained Whitley, a Virginia native who was a member of the Five-Star 17U National team based out of Texas in the summer. “I was happy to be on a team with such tremendous talent. It also helped me realize how hot it’s going to be after being in Texas and Oklahoma. It’s nice. I really enjoy playing in the south in the summer.”

The connection with Tennessee began in July with an offer eventually coming in early October.

“I was emailing them when I started play for Five-Star,” the eighth-rated 2021 left-handed pitcher in Michigan reflected. “They have a relatively new staff and (head) coach (Tony) Vitello started getting more interested in me so I sent more video. I noticed they have a few guys recruited from Michigan, so they’re looking up here. I thought, why not one more. I kind of fell into the right place.”

The 6-6 230-pound southpaw would likely have gone to Roane State Community College in Texas had Tennessee not come into the picture. Virginia Commonwealth, where his father played basketball, was another Whitley had talked with as well as Charleston Southern and East Tennessee State. But nothing compared with the Volunteers in the eyes of the 46th-ranked senior in the state.

“I’ve never heard a negative thing about the program,” Whitley said. “Guys there improve greatly. Those I’ve talked to that have gone there love the university and the campus. And it’s SEC baseball, there’s nothing like it.”

The opportunity to compete in the Southeastern Conference is attractive to Whitley.

“I’m extremely excited to go up against the greatest teams in the nation,” Whitley noted. “They have a great staff there and I’ll be able to play with guys coming from Michigan.”

The third LHP in Michigan’s 2021 class to commit to Tennessee, along with Gavin Brasosky and Sam Bassett-Kennedy, had no doubt he was selecting the right school.

“I knew when they offered I’d take it,” Whitley admitted. “It’s my absolute dream school. I initially saw it as a freshman and that’s when Tennessee went on my radar. They offered in early October and I waited a little bit. I wanted to call all the other coaches and thank them for their interest in me.”

Tennessee saw projectabily in the Saline left-hander.

“They like guys from the north,” Whitley said. “They have a lot of room to improve.”

Videos showed the coaches at the SEC school the promise Whitley presents.

“I’m a tall body and a lefy that knows how to use his body fully,” Whitley explained. “They think they can improve me greatly.”

Getting better is something Whitley has been doing this year.

“I’ve been going to the gym a lot,” noted Whitley, who pointed to mobility as one focus point. “Playing with Five-Star also helped. The coaches there are amazing. They made sure I threw with a great motion to squeeze out the most I can.”

Playing at the next level is something Whitley has strived to do.

“I’ve always kind of dreamed about playing college baseball but I didn’t know if I could get there,” Whitley explained. “I was a late improver. I shot up before junior year and that’s when my velo went up. Getting bigger helped a lot, lifting and growing. That’s when college baseball became a possibility.”

It is now reality, thanks in part to influences along the way.

“My dad helped a ton with recruitment, being on me about reaching out to coaches,” Whitley said. “My high school coaches helped me improve my offspeed pitches. They helped make my curve more consistent. Mike Coval at Coval Fitness in Ann Arbor taught me how to get muscle quickly. He helped me become the big guy I am today.”

Whitley is pleased to become the fourth member of his high school senior class to commit to playing baseball in college.

“I’m very excited for the spring season,” said the soon-to-be 18-year-old. “We’re going to have a good team at Saline and I look forward to that.”

Then it is on to Tennessee where Whitley, who carries a 3.1 GPA, will major in communications and minor in sports science.

“It felt good to finally announce where I’m going,” explained Whitley, whose family plans to move to Chattanooga after high school graduation. “I had a good time with the entire process but I’m glad to have it over with and know where I’m going.”


Videos

(6/16/20)

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