Should the Astros move Whitley or develop him?
The Astros could use Whitley as a trade piece this year and next year, which would only further deplete their already depleted farm system. But I’m against moving Whitley. I think holding on to Whitley and letting him develop is the best long-term strategy for the Astros.
Houston will be in need for the long term good starting pitching beyond this year, and developing a in-house player with incredible potential is the smartest and most cost effective route.
For those skeptical on if Whitley can ever clean up his mechanics and control, it’s not like players can’t fix that. Tyler Matzek was out of the league because of his erratic control, now he’s an elite reliever for the World Champion Atlanta Braves.
Brad Lidge had the same issues early in his career and he was able to correct them. Heck, even Justin Verlander dealt with control problems early on — now he’s a Hall-of-Famer.
I am not saying Whitley is going to reach those heights but it’s not every day you get a you get a 6-foot-7 starting pitcher with an electric arm in a diverse pitch repertoire.
The Astros pride themselves and their ability to develop players — recent examples being Kyle Tucker, Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa, and Framber Valdez.
If they can develop the best version of Whitley, they might have themselves another ace for a long, long time.