Here’s what I said in the top 100 starters last year, “Here’s what Prospector Mike said this offseason, “This is a touted arm, but one that barely pitched this year. Forrest Whitley served a 50-game drug suspension followed by two trips to the disabled list for oblique and lat injuries. There’s too much upside in his plus heater and curve to knock him out of this tier and he’ll likely still rank highly on other 2019 lists. In 118 innings over the past two seasons he’s posted a K/9 north of thirteen. That strikeout potential is where I think his fantasy value lies. He’ll be pitching in the Arizona Fall League and could find himself in the mix for a rotation spot at some point. I doubt they rush things though, so it will most likely take an injury or a shuffle for him to get many meaningful MLB innings in the coming year. Speaking of injuries, who do I have to pay to incapacitate Grey?” Hey! As for the other things PM said, I agree. I think everyone is being way too aggressive on drafting and ranking Whitley this year. Maybe if the Astros are hit by multiple injuries, but he’s 21 years old and would be overworked to throw 100 innings this year, and I think will see closer to under 40 IP in the majors, so why rank him this high even? He’s a decent flyer with a ton of risk.” And that’s me quoting Prospect Mike quoting me! I’m sorta in the same place this year. Do we really see legit innings from Forrest Whitley in 2020 in the majors? Or, rather…So, what can we expect from Forrest Whitley for 2020 fantasy baseball?
Forrest Whitley was awful last year, coupled with missed time due to shoulder fatigue. Between IL stints, Whitley pitched across four levels of the minors and went 3-7 with a 7.99 ERA in 59 2/3 IP. He had 86 strikeouts — yay! — and walked 44 — lowercase yay! — and allowed 11 homers — can we get a lower lowercase yay? Guess we could just write off the whole year, due to the aforementioned injury, but with the resources the Astros have is he really even on the major league team’s radar for 2020? Will he just be used to bang the ceiling of the dugout on opposing teams’ changeups? I suppose we could see him, if there’s some injuries to the major league team, but he’s gotta do better than a 5+ BB/9, otherwise he’s going to be chewed up and spat out like Roberto Alomar seeing an umpire. At 22 years old, there’s still a chance for him. There’s a lot of chances, actually. We’re here talking about him because his stuff is so good. He could be great in two or three years from now, but I put no faith in his 2020 season, and wouldn’t be drafting him anywhere, just as I wasn’t really interested last year. He is absolutely the type who I would grab in all leagues if he were promoted though, because of the 11+ K/9 potential. So, wait and see on Whitley, unless your leagues are so deep you need the draft an extreme flyer. For 2020, I’ll give Forrest Whitley projections of 2-3/4.78/1.45/34 in 27 IP, and a 25% chance of getting another rookie outlook post next year.