Round 6: Ed Whitson
In 1974, the Pittsburgh Pirates picked Ed Whitson in the sixth-round of the MLB draft. The right-hander made his way up the Pirates’ minor league organizations but didn’t play all that much in a Pirate uniform. He was used as a swing-man for the Pirates, appearing in 67 games, including nine starts across two-and-a-half seasons. Whitson provided a 3.73 ERA, 3.93 FIP, and 1.439 WHIP through 147.1 innings.
In late June 1979, the Pirates dealt Winston to the San Francisco Giants with Fred Breining and Al Holland for a three-player package. Although that package included Bill Madlock, Whitson caught his stride after being given a chance to start games regularly.
From 1980 through the end of his career in 1991, Winston established himself as a rock-solid starting pitcher. He would go on to pitch to the tune of a 3.79 ERA, 3.84 FIP, and 1.30 WHIP. Although Whitson didn’t excel in anything in particular, given his 0.9 HR/9 rate, poor 13.1% K-rate, and 6.9% walk rate, he put up solid results everywhere he went.
Whitson would pitch for the Giants, Cleveland, San Diego Padres, and New York Yankees. He retired after his age-36 campaign. He may never have been a top of the rotation arm, but he was a reliable arm everywhere he pitched.