Astros pitching prospect Whitley suspended 50 games for drug violation

Thomson Reuters

Houston Astros right-hander Forrest Whitley, considered one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, has been suspended 50 games for violating the drug prevention and treatment program, Major League Baseball announced Wednesday.

The 20-year-old Whitley was the Astros' first-round pick in 2016 (17th overall).

%InlineRelated-url="" CTA="SEE ALSO" title="MLB passes on pitch clock, focuses on mound visits in new pace-of-play rules"%

The 6-foot-7 hard-throwing starter advanced from low-Class A to Double-A last season, going a combined 5-4 with a 2.83 ERA and 143 strikeouts in 92 1/3 innings with three minor league teams. Whitley made four appearances for Double-A Corpus Christi, posting a 1.84 ERA.

Whitley, who attended Alamo Heights High School in San Antonio, was given a $3.148 million bonus after being drafted by the Astros. He was expected to start the season in Corpus Christi, with a good chance to reach Triple-A Fresno and possibly pitch in the majors by the end of the season, according to the Houston Chronicle.

--Field Level Media