One of baseball's top 10 prospects was suspended 50 games for a drug violation
Forrest Whitley is the Astros' top pitching prospect and set to work in Double-A this year
One of baseball's top pitching prospects has received a 50-game suspension. Forrest Whitley of the Astros' system has been suspended without pay for a violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. MLB made the announcement Wednesday morning, including that Whitley will serve the suspension to start the season for Double-A Corpus Christi.
What's interesting here is MLB in the release didn't specify what exactly the suspension is for. Generally, if it's a "drug of abuse" suspension (such as marijuana) or a PED, the league says so. In the Whitley release, the league was vague. Perhaps there will be more news on this front in the coming days.
Regardless, Whitley will miss a large portion of the 2018 season. Here's a statement from his agent:
The 6-foot-7 right-handed pitcher was an Astros' first-round pick (17th overall) in the 2016 draft out of Alamo Heights High School in San Antonio.
Last season, Whitley pitched to a 2.83 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 143 strikeouts in 92 1/3 innings between Class A (46 1/3 IP), Class A-Advanced (31 1/3 IP) and Double-A (14 2/3 IP).
Only entering his age-20 season, Whitley was unlikely to impact the Astros' deep rotation this season, but he's not too far away from the bigs. He was ranked as a top-10 prospect in baseball this spring by outlets like MLB.com (ninth), Baseball America (10th) and Baseball Prospectus (10th). He's the consensus number one prospect in the Astros' system.
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