With the 17th overall pick in the draft, the Astros have selected right-handed pitcher and Florida State commit Forrest Whitley. Prior to the draft, Whitley was projected to go 14th overall to the Indians by both MLB.com and ESPN. Baseball America was the most bearish, pegging Whitley for 30th overall to the Rangers.
Whitley joins Francis Martes, David Paulino and Joe Musgrove as the top pitchers in an Astros’ system that has been weakened by the trades of Josh Hader, Mark Appel and Vincent Velasquez over the last year.
The senior from Alamo Heights High School in San Antonio features a plus plus fastball and plus breaking ball that had help developing thanks to a growth spurt into his 6'7" frame. While he has great stuff, Whitley has a strikeout approach that can sometimes get him into high pitch counts. Scouts believe his control is around average, but that he could stand to be more aggressive with hitters.
Whitley ranks 12th among all prospects on MLB.com and 18th on Baseball America. He and Ian Anderson represent the second-tier of high school right-handers of which Riley Pint seems to be at the top tier all by himself.