It would be an understatement to say that the Houston Astros have had a lot of “can’t miss” pitching prospects miss, and miss in spectacular fashion. Since Lance McCullers Jr. was drafted in 2012, the Astros have had plenty of position players hit, including Carlos Correa who was drafted that very same year with the number one overall pick.
Since then the team has had Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker all come through the system and become impact players on a daily basis.
That hasn’t been the case on the pitching side of things. From Mark Appel to Francis Martes to Brady Aiken, who didn’t even sign with the team after being drafted the Astros just haven’t had much luck with their top pitching prospects. This worked out for the Astros since the next year the team got the No. 2 overall pick as a result, leading to the drafting of Alex Bregman.
Forrest Whitley is in danger of becoming yet another “can’t miss” pitching prospect not panning out.
Whitley was drafted out of high school with the 17th overall pick in 2016.
His first season in the minors had Astros fans salivating at the idea of what seemed to be a Carlos Correa type-phenom who would get called up within a year after dominating across three levels jumping to double-A by the age of 19, where he closed the season striking out 26 across 14.2 innings against only four walks with a 1.84 ERA.
Over the entirety of the season he led the minors in strikeouts per nine innings with 13.94.
Since then a suspension for violating MLB’s Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program along with Tommy John surgery have dropped him from No. 1 to No. 5 on the Astros top 30 prospects rankings according to MLB.com.
At one point, Whitley was ahead of Kyle Tucker on the Astros prospect list. So what does the future hold for Forrest Whitley. There are really only three potential outcomes.