Houston Astros prospect Forrest Whitley gets 50-game Major League Baseball drug suspension

Houston Astros prospect Forrest Whitley gets 50-game Major League Baseball drug suspension

Houston Astros Minor League pitcher Forrest Whitley, the organization's top pitching prospect, was suspended Wednesday 50 games for violation of the minor league drug program.

The suspension will start at the beginning of the 2018 Texas League Season.

The suspension was not for PED use, which would have been 80 games and identified by Major League Baseball in its release. Generally, if it's a "drug of abuse" suspension (such as marijuana) or a PED, the league says so. Perhaps there will be more news on this front in the coming days.

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Whitley, a 20-year old right-hander from San Antonio Alamo Heights, is ranked as the No. 9 overall prospect by MLB.com as he climbed from low-A to Double-A during the 2017 season. Across all three levels, Whitley had an ERA of 2.83, and struck out 143 hitters in 92.1 innings.

Late last month, the Astros announced that Whitley would spend spring training with the club's minor leaguers, a decision that reportedly was not unexpected because of the World Series champion's already-strong rotation. He's the consensus number one prospect in the Astros' system.

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