Draft Notes: Fisher Down, Whitson To Bullpen (VIDEO)

Virginia announced that preseason first-team All-American Derek Fisher will miss four to six weeks with a broken hamate bone in his right wrist.

Derek Fisher

Derek Fisher (Photo by Tony Farlow)

Fisher, who entered the spring ranked 10th on BA’s college Top 100 draft prospects, was off to a .333/.393/.451 start through 51 at-bats with no home runs and seven strikeouts. The lefthanded hitter was injured during the Cavaliers’ series at Duke over the previous weekend. Fisher’s value from a draft standpoint is in his lefthanded bat and power, which likely will be affected even after he returns, but hamate injuries are fairly routine and not seen as long-term concerns.

Teams will have to base their evaluations of Fisher off what they have seen previously--he was the No. 5 prospect in the Cape Cod League last summer--while he misses time this spring. For more on Fisher, use the Derek Fisher tag on BaseballAmerica.com.

Whitson To Bullpen

Florida announced its weekend rotation for the start of Southeastern Conference play, and it does not include righthander Karsten Whitson, reports Cody Jones of Florida.Scout.com. The redshirt junior has been moved to the Gators bullpen.

Whitson was off to a 1-0, 4.72 start with eight walks and seven strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings. He’s been passed by younger Gators such as righthander Eric Hanhold (whose first 10 outings were in relief) and freshmen A.J. Puk and Logan Shore. All three are fine prospects in their own right, and all three have pitched well during the 11-6 Gators’ non-conference portion of the schedule.

Pitching in the bullpen will not help Whitson’s draft stock, and the 2010 unsigned first-rounder likely would have to pitch his way back into a starting role, perhaps in the midweek, to move back up scouts’ follow lists. But it could help his velocity, which scouts have reported to be in the upper 80s much of the spring. His velocity was better when BA’s Aaron Fitt saw him in the season’s second week against Miami, detailed in this piece in Three Strikes.