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Charles Forrest Whitley
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 7", Weight 195 lb.
- High School Alamo Heights High School
Pitcher Forrest Whitley was a first-round selection in the 2016 amateur draft by the Houston Astros, with the 17th overall pick. He had long been considered a top amateur player, as he was a member of the United States team at the 2015 U-18 Baseball World Cup in Osaka, Japan. He helped the US win Gold by going 1-0 with a 1.04 ERA and 15 K in 8 2/3 IP. He tied Francisco Haro and Yosamir Cousin for 8th in strikeouts.
He began his professional career that same year splitting time between the GCL Astros and Greeneville Astros, two Rookie-class teams. He went a combined 1-2, 4.82 in 8 games. In 2017 he hurtled upwards quickly, pitching for three different teams and ending up in the AA Texas League. His three stops were the Quad Cities River Bandits of the Midwest League, the Buies Creek Astros of the Carolina League, and the Corpus Christi Hooks. Altogether, he went 5-4, 2.83 in 23 games (18 starts). He pitched 92 1/3 innings, allowing 78 hits and 34 walks while striking out 143 batters.
Now considered one of the top prospects in the Astros organization, his name was often mentioned in trade rumors, but the team decided to hold on to him as they traded for players such as P Gerrit Cole. However, before the season began, in February, he was suspended for 50 games for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Then, after starting late because of that suspension, his 2018 season was shortened by an oblique injury he suffered in early July. He was reactivated a month later, made a couple of starts, then went back to the DL until September. He was limited to just 8 starts with Corpus Christi, going 0-2, 3.76 and pitching 26 1/3 innings. He took part in the Arizona Fall League, where he made another 6 starts, logging 26 innings with a 2.42 ERA. He was considered one of the circuit's top performers alongside Minor League Player of the Year Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Once again, his name was part of most transaction rumors involving the Astros after the season, but the team's brass was not willing to let him go.
Given his height, it is not surprising that he has an outstanding fastball. It was once measured at 110 mph, although this was when Whitley threw it with a running start - not off a mound.