The job of a former first round draft pick is a big one. For Forrest Whitley, the Astros’ No. 5 prospect and the No. 71 prospect in baseball according to MLB.com, he has to overcome that as well as coming into the big leagues right out of high school.
So far, in his first full season in the Astros organization, he has been very impressive. Whitley started the season at Single-A Quad Cities where he posted a 2.91 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP in 12 appearances, including ten starts. Using a mid-nineties fastball, a power curveball, and a very good changeup according to MLB.com, the 19-year-old right-hander struck out 34.4 percent of all batters faced.
With those numbers, the Astros promoted Whitley to Single-A (Adv) Buies Creek on July 2nd. His first three starts with the Astros have not been much of an issue. He has a record of 2-0 with a 0.57 ERA and a 0.64 WHIP. With a .151 batting average against, he has 24 strikeouts in 15.1 innings of work while only walking two batters.
As a big and young right-handed pitcher right out of high school, the Astros have the pitching depth in the system to be able to wait for him to develop more over the next few years. However, with the numbers he is putting up in the beginning levels of the minor league system, it would not be surprising to see Whitley develop faster than normal.