Forrest Whitley
Forrest Whitley
21-Year-Old PitcherSP
Houston Astros
2019 Fantasy Outlook
An athletic, 6-foot-7 righty, Whitley is the undisputed top pitching prospect in the game. He has five plus pitches, including two 70-grade offerings in his fastball and changeup. It is the most dominant minor-league arsenal in recent memory. The question is, how many innings will he log in the big leagues this season? He was suspended for the first 50 games of 2018 for violating the minor-league drug program (Adderall is the rumored drug) and then missed over five weeks with a mild oblique strain. When factoring in the Texas League playoffs and the Arizona Fall League, Whitley threw just 55 innings. This is the most important statistic to consider when evaluating him for redraft leagues. He has never pitched at Triple-A and will likely be limited to around 110 innings, so even if he is healthy and dominant, Whitley may only log around 15 starts in the majors. He will be awesome when he pitches, just be aware of the workload limitations. Read Past Outlooks
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$Signed a contract with the Astros in June of 2016 that includes a $3.15 million signing bonus.
Getting knocked around at Triple-A
PHouston Astros  AAA
May 12, 2019
Whitley has a 10.80 ERA over 18.1 innings for Triple-A Round Rock.
The Astros bypassed Whitley, their top-ranked prospect, in favor of Corbin Martin, who will start in place of a struggling Collin McHugh on Sunday. Whitley has been knocked around during his first taste of the most elite level of the minor leagues. He was tagged for three home runs in his most recent start Friday and has given up seven long balls thus far. It's no wonder why Houston tabbed Martin as a replacement starter instead of Whitley.
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Forrest Whitley
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Farm Futures: Stashing Season Is Here
20 days ago
James Anderson offers his thoughts on Nate Lowe's 2019 upside before listing the top remaining stash candidates, highlighting Marlins righty Zac Gallen.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
Whitley joined Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Dylan Bundy and Chad Billingsley as the only prep first rounders over the last 20 years to reach Double-A in their first full season. He accomplished the feat in style, getting better as the year went on (23.6 K-BB% at Low-A, 31.8 K-BB% at High-A, 39.3 K-BB% at Double-A). At 6-foot-7, 240 pounds, he has the frame to eat innings and uses his length to get excellent extension on his pitches, allowing his 92-94 mph fastball to play up as a plus pitch. This is usually where we discuss which secondary pitches need to improve for a 20-year-old to eventually profile in the rotation, but Whitley already has a complete four-pitch repertoire. His curveball is a second plus offering, and he commands a quality changeup and improving slider. It was announced in late February that he will be suspended for the first 50 games of 2018 for testing positive for a drug of abuse. This won't have a major impact on his long-term prospects, but could delay his big-league debut.
A 6-foot-7, 240-pound prep righty, Whitley draws physical comparisons to Josh Johnson. He fell to the Astros with the 17th pick, and they happily gave him an over-slot $3.15 million bonus. Whitley has a mid-90s fastball that receives plus-plus grades thanks to superb late life, and he features three secondary offerings -- something that separates him from most hard-throwing 19-year-olds. His hammer curveball is his second-best pitch, but his slider also shows plus potential. Given his age and size, the fact that he already has feel for a changeup is another mark in his favor. Excluding a 1.1-inning relief appearance where Whitley gave up four earned runs, he notched a 3.12 ERA and 24:5 K:BB in 17.1 innings across stops in the Gulf Coast and Appalachian leagues. He should receive an assignment to the Midwest League to start 2017. There is plenty of risk in investing in 6-foot-7 prep arms, and there will undoubtedly be bumps along the developmental road, but Whitley has the tools and physical traits to be a special pitcher for a long time.
More Fantasy News
Hit hard in second Triple-A start
PHouston Astros  AAA
April 16, 2019
Whitley lasted 1.1 innings Monday in his start for Triple-A Round Rock, conceding five runs on four hits and two walks while striking out one in a 10-2 loss to Memphis.
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Opens at Triple-A
PHouston Astros  AAA
April 4, 2019
Whitley is opening the year with Triple-A Round Rock, Jim Callis of reports.
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Spins four scoreless innings
PHouston Astros  AAA
March 16, 2019
Whitley walked two and struck out four over four hitless innings Friday against the Cardinals.
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Sent to minor-league camp
PHouston Astros  AAA
March 12, 2019
Whitley was reassigned to minor-league camp Tuesday, Jake Kaplan of The Athletic reports.
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Pleased with results Friday
PHouston Astros  AAA
March 10, 2019
Whitley allowed one run on two hits and one walk while striking out six in Friday's game against the Cardinals.
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