Former Houston Astros Top Prospect Beginning Journey Back to Majors Again

After a long road to reach the Majors the first time, the Houston Astros former top prospect is attempting to do it again after another setback.
Apr 16, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros relief pitcher Forrest Whitley (60) delivers a pitch during the ninth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Minute Maid Park
Apr 16, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros relief pitcher Forrest Whitley (60) delivers a pitch during the ninth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Minute Maid Park / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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It's hard to reach Major League Baseball no matter how highly touted a player might be, something one of the Houston Astros former top prospect knows all about.

After being selected 17th overall in the 2016 draft, Forrest Whitley was ranked No. 1 in the Astros' pipeline for four straight years from 2018-21.

Considered the starter of their future, things kept popping up at every turn that prevented him from rapidly ascending within their farm system as he was suspended 50 games for violating MLB's drug prevention and treatment program in 2018, and underwent Tommy John surgery in 2021.

Whitley looked like he was living up to the hype early on in his career, but after the season-ending surgery he struggled with a 6.53 and 5.70 ERA following his return.

Prior to this season, there was some buzz that the 26-year-old would be part of the bullpen after switching roles with the aim of getting to the Majors and sticking there. Unfortunately, his plans were derailed when he wasn't able to throw during Spring Training becasue of an injury.

That was another example of a setback on his journey.

The good news for Whitley is that he was able to make his long-awaited Major League debut earlier this season.

The bad news is that it just lasted one game as he was sent back down to Triple-A two days after his first-ever outing in The Show.

In the minors, he was placed on the injured list with an elbow injury on April 26 that has kept him off the field until now when he was officially sent on a rehab assignment to their Florida Complex League.

He's been sidelined for a while, so it will probably take an extended period of time for him to rehab his way back into being sent to their Triple-A affiliate.

Whether or not Whitley can get into consideration for the Major League roster is unknown.

History would suggest that another issue will pop up for the former top prospect that derails his chances of playing in the MLB. Hopefully that's not the case as Houston continues to deal with injuries to their pitchers on the big league roster.

There's a good chance that if he is able to get healthy quickly, he'll get a real opportunity of getting back to The Show.

Brad Wakai


Brad Wakai graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Journalism. While an undergrad, he did work at the student radio station covering different Penn State athletic programs like football, basketball, volleyball, soccer and other sports. Brad currently covers the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros for Sports Illustrated/FanNation. He is also the Lead Contributor for Nittany Lions Wire of Gannett Media where he continues to cover Penn State athletics. Brad is the host of the sports podcast I Said What I Said, discussing topics across the NFL, College Football, the NBA and other sports. You can follow him on Twitter: @bwakai