Astros: Pitching prospects showcase talent in Arizona Fall League
By Brian Murray
Top pitching prospects of the Astros, Forrest Whitley, J. B. Bukauskas and Trent Thornton, exhibit their skills in the Arizona Fall League.
The Arizona Fall League is a month underway, with the Championship Game scheduled one week from today in Scottsdale, Arizona. Three of the future pitching hopefuls for the Astros are participating, with Whitley and Thornton selected to play in the Fall Stars Game that took place last Saturday.
Forrest Whitley, Houston’s #2 and MLB Pipeline‘s #8 prospect have started five games for the Scottsdale Scorpions. Forrest is brandishing an ERA of 3.00, dropping to 1.69 against left-handed batters. He has yet to surrender a home run in the 17 hits allowed over 21 innings of work. He has struck out 27 batters against seven walks and is allowing a .215 opponent batting average.
Whitley was chosen as the starter for the Fall Stars Game in Surprise Arizona. He pitched two scoreless innings, walked two batters and allowed no hits while striking out one.
Houston’s #8 prospect, J. B. Bukauskas has also started five games for the Scorpions. His record stands at one win and one loss. Bukauskas had shown good control, up until the last game, when he walked five batters. In the four games prior, he had only one walk per game, striking out eighteen. Like Whitley, no batter has put one over the fence in the 19 hits he’s given up. Opponents are batting .260 against him.
Trent Thornton, Houston’s #24 prospect, has appeared in eight games as a reliever, for a total of 13.1 innings. He has shown some inconsistency, allowing no earned runs in four appearances, while surrendering seven runs and two home runs in his other four games. Trent has a 4:1 strikeout ratio and is giving up a .271 batting average.
Thornton pitched one scoreless inning of relief in the Fall Stars Game, striking out two and walking one batter.
With the question of what the 2019 Astros pitching staff will look like, it warrants keeping tabs on these and other prospects. Many will get their chance to prove what they’re worth come Spring Training.