Forrest Whitley and Cionel Perez Promoted to Double-A
The Astros have been fairly aggressive with their top prospects this season and it showed again today as two of the top pitching prospects, Forrest Whitley and Cionel Perez, were promoted to AA Corpus Christi Hooks.
— Sam Levitt (@SammyLev) August 12, 2017
Whitley was drafted by the Astros with the 17th overall pick in the 2016 draft. Whitley is very big, listed at 6’7″ and 240 lbs, but exhibits very good body control and a repeatable delivery on the mound. Whitley pitched 18.2 innings following the draft with an impressive 6 BB/26 K ratio. Whitley has a mid 90s fastball and at just 19 years old already possesses a very good chanegup and slider.
He started the season with Quad Cities and was very good posting a 2.91 ERA with 21 BB/67 K in 46.1 innings. He was promoted to High-A and pitched just as well posting a 3.16 ERA with 9 BB/50 K in 30.1 innings with a 2.96 ERA. He has moved at a rapid pace and should be one of the top pitching prospects in baseball.
Perez originally agreed to a deal with the Astros worth $5.15 million but the deal was voided due to a physical. Perez was later signed for $2 million. Perez is just another prospect from Cuba making the move to the MiLB. Perez possesses a low to mid 90s fastball. MLB Pipeline notes that he has a slider and curveball, which sometimes mix together but has the makings off a plus pitch. He also has a changeup that shows potential.
He has very advanced pitchability that should help him move through the system quickly. The only knock on him right now is his size (5’11”). He made his debut this season starting with Quad Cities posting a 4.39 ERA with 17 BB/55 K in 55.1 innings. He was promoted to Buies Creek and posted a 2.84 ERA with 5 BB/18 K in 25.1 innings. He is already 21 years old and due to the void in his initial contract, he will need to be added to the 40 man roster this off-season.
**Photo Credit: SR Photography**