Karsten Whitson is a two-time Cooperstown Dreams Park participant. He played with the Lakeland Tornadoes (FL) during week 5 in 2003. He returned during week 10 in 2004 with the Sunshine Slammers (FL).
A pitcher for his Chipley High School (Chipley, FL) varsity baseball team, Karsten posted a record of 7-3 with 123 strikeouts in 55 innings during his senior year (2010). He was rated second in the state of Florida by Prospectswrie.com, eighth in the Class of 2010 by Perfect Game, third on Baseball America's list of Top 100 High School Prospects and 15th on Baseball America's Top 100 Amateur Players. Karsten was named to the first-team of Rawlings' Pre-season All-America Team, first-team All-American by Baseball America and was first-team all-state in Class 3A.
In addition to his high school team, during his junior year Karsten competed at the 2009 AFLAC All-American Game in San Diego, CA. He compiled a 6-4 record and a 1.49 ERA with 73 strikeouts in 42 innings. Karsten also played on the 18-under Team USA squad that won a gold medal in the Pan American Junior Championship in Venezuela.
In 2010, Karsten became the 9th first round pick of Major League Baseball's amateur draft. He was chosen by the San Diego Padres. Prior to the draft, Karsten signed a letter of intent to play baseball for University of Florida (Gainesville, FL).
Karsten opted to compete at the collegiate level instead of beginning his professional career. Karsten recorded a successful freshman season (2011) at the University of Florida. He led the team with 92 strikeouts in 97.1 innings. Karsten received SEC Freshman of the Week honors on April 25th (7-strikeout performance in 6.2 innings versus Alabama, was also 4-0 with a 2.56 ERA in conference games). Additional accolades followed - Perfect Game's National Freshman Pitcher of the Year and Freshman All-American and Freshman All-American recognition by Baseball America, Louisville Slugger and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.