Forrest Whitley, SP
Of course, one would expect a top prospect to impress in Spring Training but what Forrest Whitley has been able to do for the Houston Astros have been very good so far. Whitley is hoping to gain favor in the eyes of management and the front office as he seeks to make his first major league appearance this season.
So far, Whitley has only pitched twice for a total of five innings but, those five innings have been able to reveal the potential he has to be an ace at the big league level. His four pitches have been on display and are truly all plus pitches he can shut down any batter with at any given time.
Through those five innings, Whitley has only allowed one earned run on three hits while also striking out five batters. That translates out to a 1.80 ERA, a 0.80 WHIP, and a .158 batting average against.
Now, I know that this is a small sample size that hasn’t always been up against top tier MLB talent but Whitley has looked really, really good. This just builds off of and affirms what he was able to accomplish in a terrific Fall League just months ago.
Whitley should be able to parlay a good Spring into his big league debut by mid-summer if not earlier. There is still the possibility that the team hands Whitley the keys to start the season if he is more impressive than the other candidates for the fifth spot in the starting rotation but, even if not, he’ll have a rotation spot locked down by the end of the season.