Forrest Whitley, the Astros’ top pitching prospect, has been suspended 50 games for violating Minor League Baseball’s drug prevention and treatment program. Whitley was the Astros’ 17th overall draft pick in 2016. ESPN’s Buster Olney was first on the report.
The Astros’ Forrest Whitley, one of baseball’s best pitching prospects, has been suspended 50 games without pay for a violation of the minor-league drug program.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) February 21, 2018
The 20-year-old right-hander jumped to Double-A and recorded 143 strikeouts in 92 1⁄3 innings. MLB Pipeline ranked Whitley as the second-best right-handed pitching prospect this season, right behind Shohei Ohtani of the Angels.
The Astros, who have been a part of numerous trades over the past year, refused to include Whitely in any deals for pitchers like Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.
Whitley was expected to be a non-roster invite to big league camp this season.