mysonx3

Forrest Whitley - RHP HOU

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Alright, I'm really high on this guy. Legitimately wanted him badly enough that I refrained from starting this thread until he went in my draft. (CSB: I had an awesome Billy Beane in Moneyball moment to acquire him.)

Whitley checks a ton of boxes for me. I'm the type who puts a lot of weight into changeup and command profile, and Whitley grades out well there with most scouting reports I've seen saying his change is a future 55 and his future command grades have been 50 or 55. If he combined those with even an average fastball/average breaking ball he'd have some intrigue for me, but Whitley actually has a phenomenal fastball/breaking ball combo that I've seen given both get 65s here and a 65 on the fastball 60 on the curve here. Those are pretty phenomenal grades, obviously. I personally think his curveball is at least a 65, possibly a 70. It's one of the best curveballs I've seen from a prospect. Absolutely filthy.

I've noticed that most reports grade a slider and curve separately (with the curve getting plus grades and the slider average) but they seem to talk about it like one pitch, so I'm not sure what to make of that. One report mentioned them as one pitch but brought up the possibility that they could be separated into a plus curve and an average slider. I don't think that's the best idea as I imagine it would mean throwing the curve with less power and taking away from what I see as a potentially dominant pitch.

Thoughts?

Edited by mysonx3
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David Laurila at FanGraphs did a nice interview with Mike Elias, the Astros' Assistant GM, Scouting and Player Development. I recommend reading the whole thing, but I've quoted the part pertaining to Whitley.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/mike-elias-on-drafting-and-developing-astros-pitchers/

 

Quote

On 6-foot-7 Forrest Whitley: “What’s different about Forrest, and most pitchers of that size who go early in the draft, is that he seems to be past that phase. He’s got a very coordinated delivery that fits our view of what quality deliveries look like. They don’t come in the same shape or size, but he checks a lot of the boxes we look for.

“When you see a kid that long and lean be as coordinated, and able to repeat his delivery as well as he was, at the age of 18… that’s a big reason we took him with our first pick. We were really impressed with how he coordinates himself when he’s going down the mound. And he goes down the mound pretty aggressively.

“In high school, he was hitting 97-98 pretty steadily. He sits more in that 92-94 range, which is plenty, but seeing flashes of that extra velocity tells you the amount of arm strength that’s in there.”

On assessing pitchability in amateurs: “That can be tough at the high-school level, because of the competition. Sometimes the hitters are so much worse than the pitcher that he might be able to rely on just one or two pitches. He can just blow them away and not worry so much about location. That’s a little less of a problem nowadays, though, because we usually get to see the best high-school pitchers on the showcase circuit. They’re facing the best hitters in the country, so it’s more of an apples-to-apples comparison. You can see weaknesses in a pitcher’s command, or see a repertoire exposed, a little more easily.

“One of the things that attracted us to Forrest is that, for an 18-year-old high-school righty, he was advanced in this regard. He’s got a number of pitches, he understands how he throws them, and he does a pretty good job of throwing strikes. That’s not to say — not by any stretch — that he’s ready for a high level of play in professional baseball. But relative to your normal, hard-throwing high-school pitcher who was drafted high, he’s more polished than average.”

On Whitley’s repertoire: “He has both [a two-seam and four-seam fastball]. He’s able to work up in the zone with his four-seamer and run the ball off the plate with his two-seamer. He has two distinct breaking balls — a slider and a curveball — and a changeup that, while not a finished product, is more polished than what you typically find with a high-school power pitcher.

“I think you’d get some debate on which of his breaking pitches are better — they’re both pretty good — but he does have a very good curveball. He throws it hard — it’s above 80 mph — and it’s got a real nice, tall, 12-to-6, or 11-to-5, shape when it’s right. If you’re an old-school pitching guy, you always like seeing a curveball first. There’s nothing like a great big curveball. For Forrest, it’s one of his calling cards.”

Edit: Not sure how the following got in a quote box, this is me talking:

Quote

Some takeaways for me:

1. The Astros believe his delivery is sound (I do too, but they've done a heck of a lot more analysis of it than me, so this is a positive).

2. According to Elias (who certainly ought to know), Whitley is throwing two distinct breaking balls, a curve and a slider (as I mentioned might be the case in the OP). Not sure what to make of that, though I will say it likely makes developing a good change a bit less of a priority.

3. He varies two and four seam fastballs, which is something I love seeing from pitchers.

 

Edited by mysonx3
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Recently got promoted to high A and is crushing it...ERA and WHIP under 1 with 24 K's in 15 innings...

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4 hours ago, Zombies said:

Recently got promoted to high A and is crushing it...ERA and WHIP under 1 with 24 K's in 15 innings...

Yup, he has as much helium as any prospect in the game right now. I went into this year thinking he was the 4th best SP prospect Houston had behind Martes,Paulino and Perez, but he's getting to the point where he may be run away #1. He's got to be up there with Allard and Mckenzie right now.

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Just wanted to highlight his change up:

 

 

Jack (Hou): It's pretty surprising to see a HS pitcher like Forrest Whitley not spend all of his first year in lo-A. Do the reports support a #1/2 ceiling?

 

Josh Norris: He's certainly looked tantalizingly good here at Buies Creek. I wouldn't go as high as a No. 1, personally, but he's certainly got the pitches to prove me wrong. His changeup is in the running for the best I've seen this year, along with the Phillies' JoJo Romero.

 

http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/prospect-hot-sheet-chat-august-4-a/#YfVAedqcEfPwD7OS.97

 

Edited by Light Tower Power

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Wow, they are being incredibly aggressive with Whitley and Franklin Perez. I wouldn't be surprised if both of them have an outside shot as either starters or relievers of being on that 2018 Astros squad around the all star break.

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The Only other 2 prep high school first round picks to reach AA in first full season of pro ball in the past 2 decades are two of the best in the game - Kershaw and Greinke....both debuted the following season 2 FYI - just swooped him up in my dynasty league ??

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On 8/12/2017 at 1:53 PM, Tryptamine said:

Wow, they are being incredibly aggressive with Whitley....

 

 

On 8/15/2017 at 10:29 AM, Silverdome_Loyal said:

The Only other 2 prep high school first round picks to reach AA in first full season of pro ball in the past 2 decades are two of the best in the game - Kershaw and Greinke....both debuted the following season 2 FYI 

So is he same level as Kershaw/Greinke were or are the Astros just overly aggressive?

 

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He not only dominated last night but he ended up throwing his entire arsenal of 5 pitches last night (FB/CU/CH/SL/CB). Very very impressive. For a 19 year old at 6'7 to be throwing 5 pitches with great command & control (along with his C & C getting better and better each start even this late in the season), is pretty damn scary. It was also really nice to see him go 6 innings..

Edited by JakeSarna
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On 8/18/2017 at 7:43 AM, nygiantsfan913 said:

not in espn's system yet

Don't I see this phrase in half the threads here?  Why is ESPN so far behind?  Whitley has long ago been owned in all my Yahoo leagues.  Of course I own him in most of them, heh.  But my point is that he was there in the database since spring on Yahoo.  If even Yahoo has him then ESPN should have him.  Email them and demand they add him.

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11 hours ago, The Big Bat Theory said:

Don't I see this phrase in half the threads here?  Why is ESPN so far behind?  Whitley has long ago been owned in all my Yahoo leagues.  Of course I own him in most of them, heh.  But my point is that he was there in the database since spring on Yahoo.  If even Yahoo has him then ESPN should have him.  Email them and demand they add him.

Not sure what ESPNs problem is - guys like Jose Siri are in the system yet Whitley isn't. Worst timing I've seen so far was with  Woodruff - took like, 5 days after his 1st start to add him, and he'd been on the 40 man most of the season.

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I asked this question in the Tatis thread - but where does Fangraphs get their scout info from? This thread had me thinking this kid was a 60 FV - check  FG and he's a 50? 

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8 minutes ago, hgh22 said:

I asked this question in the Tatis thread - but where does Fangraphs get their scout info from? This thread had me thinking this kid was a 60 FV - check  FG and he's a 50? 

Themselves

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11 minutes ago, tucker26 said:

 

Themselves

 

Ok - so I've played fantasy for 10 years, and have gradually gotten deeper and deeper into the game, to the point where i am one of what looks like about 10 folks here on the MILB forum on a Monday afternoon - but how trustworthy are those ratings? What confidence level do yall put in them? I'm just unsure how much value to put on the analysis i read here vs what I read on generic sites like FG or MLB pipeline? 

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Just like any of the rankings or analysis, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. They seem pretty good but the new guy is still new as the old guy Kiley McDaniel (I think) got picked up the Braves. 

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2 hours ago, hgh22 said:

I asked this question in the Tatis thread - but where does Fangraphs get their scout info from? This thread had me thinking this kid was a 60 FV - check  FG and he's a 50? 

This is irrelevant to Forrest Whitley but Fangraphs updates their FV at the beginning of the year and doesn't update them until the following year. If you want to get an idea of what the Fangraphs prospect writer Eric Longenhagen thinks of a particular prospect, either ask him in a chat or use his updated top 100 prospect list to gauge. He recently ranked him 19th overall on his summer updated list, right behind the top some of the very best SP prospects in the game in Walker Buelher, Brent Honeywell, and Mitch Keller. That probably works out to a 60 FV in the offseason.

 

2 hours ago, hgh22 said:

 

Ok - so I've played fantasy for 10 years, and have gradually gotten deeper and deeper into the game, to the point where i am one of what looks like about 10 folks here on the MILB forum on a Monday afternoon - but how trustworthy are those ratings? What confidence level do yall put in them? I'm just unsure how much value to put on the analysis i read here vs what I read on generic sites like FG or MLB pipeline? 

Also, I value a lot of what is brought up in this MiLB forum because what people mainly bring is stat lines and scouting reports from other sources. I view this as a gathering place for information and I value the community effort towards casting a wide net on prospect information. Fangraphs and MLB pipeline are just other quality sources. The value of this forum is that FG and MLB pipeline are less day to day, and the forums here allow for those daily updates. There are so many stories of posters being ahead of the curve, grabbing that future top prospect because of information learned from this forum. It's not all gospel on here, but the information you gain here along with info from other sources like Fangraphs, MLB Pipeline, MiLB.com, Imaginary Brickwall, Razzball and more should help you make decisions that are right for your fantasy team and hopefully you give back when you can.

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-Threw the 5th and 6th innings last night. 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K.

 

Hmm, do they bring him up to help the pen for the stretch run?

 

 

 

-You can count Keith Law in on the Ace train.

 

Joe: What keeps Forrest Whitely from having a ceiling above #2/3?
Keith Law: He’s a future ace. Disregard what I said in chat last week.

 

http://meadowparty.com/blog/2017/08/24/klawchat-82417/

 

Edited by Light Tower Power
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49 minutes ago, Light Tower Power said:

-You can count Keith Law in on the Ace train.

 

Joe: What keeps Forrest Whitely from having a ceiling above #2/3?
Keith Law: He’s a future ace. Disregard what I said in chat last week.

 

http://meadowparty.com/blog/2017/08/24/klawchat-82417/

 

 

Same chat:

 

Andrew: Gammons said a few days ago that someone who he respects thinks Whitley is the best pitching prospect in baseball. Agree or disagree?
Keith Law: Agree. He’s on the short list for that – him, Kopech, Buehler, Keller.

 

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Entered out of the pen as scheduled to, 2 ip 3 bb 4 ks in the appearance. 

Edited by tucker26

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What are the chance he'll be in the majors next year ?

 

I have one move left in my pool and considering adding him or Luiz Gohara (keeper league)

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