Report: Florida Gators' Karsten Whitson to miss 2013 season

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer
Whitson will return to the Gators in 2014 with a healthy shoulder. (US Presswire)

University of Florida right-hander Karsten Whitson will miss the 2013 season following a shoulder procedure, reports Aaron Fitt at Baseball America. Whitson was a projected first-round pick and in the mix to go first overall in this June's draft.

"When they went in, there was not a definitive thing they were looking to do. They were looking for what was causing the discomfort, and they found it," said Kent Whitson, Karsten's father. An impingement was causing the discomfort, and the righty's labrum and rotator cuff were both intact.

Whitson, 21, was told by Dr. James Andrews that it will be four months before he could pitch again. He will not attempt to rejoin the Gators before the end of the season or showcase himself for scouts in a summer league, and will instead focus on preparing for the 2014 season.

The Padres selected Whitson out of high school with the ninth overall pick in the 2010 draft, but he turned down their $2,100,000 offer to go to school. He went 8-1 with a 2.40 ERA as a freshman, but the shoulder discomfort limited him to just 33 1/3 innings as a sophomore.

Fitt says Whitson still showed premium stuff despite the shoulder issue, including "a mid-90s fastball, a wipeout slider and a good changeup." If the procedure addresses the discomfort and he's able to get back to the form that made him a freshman All-American in 2011, Whitson will again be in the first-round mix in 2014.

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