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Astros top pitching prospect Forrest Whitley suspended 50 games

HOUSTON – Forrest Whitley, the Houston Astros top pitching prospect, has been suspended for 50 games.

The team announced that the office of Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred gave Whitley the suspension for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

"We're disappointed in the outcome. We support Major League Baseball's drug program and we do everything we can to educate our guys and keep them from making decisions that result in suspensions. But in this case obviously, as an organization, we're going to suffer a little bit. But we're still hopeful and optimistic that Forrest is going to be a big part of our future," Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said Wednesday morning at spring training.

Whitley, 20, is on the roster of the Corpus Christi Hooks, the 'Stros Double-A affiliate.

He is the 10th best prospect in all of MLB, according to Baseball America's 2018 Top 100 prospects list.

His suspension is without pay and will be effective at the start of the Texas League season.

"We don't like it for any player, regardless of their status, but obviously this is a player that we're counting on for the future. Fortunately he's young. I've spoken with him and he will learn from this," Luhnow said. "It's disappointing, but we move on. Hopefully it's a good learning experience for him and for us."

Whitley jumped from A ball to Double-A in 2017, going 5-4  with a 2.83 ERA across three teams.

He was drafted by the Astros in the first round of the 2016 draft out of Alamo Heights High School in San Antonio.

The 6-foot-7 right-hander features a great slider and changeup combination.

Luhnow said the team will take a look at its internal procedures to improve education and monitoring of players.

Luhnow on 50 game suspension of Forrest Whitley

Posted by KPRC2 Randy McIlvoy on Wednesday, February 21, 2018