Houston Astros top prospect Forrest Whitley could need Tommy John surgery

Feb 26, 2020; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; Houston Astros pitcher Forrest Whitley warms up before the fourth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Astros right-hander Forrest Whitley’s season could be finished before it started.

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The 23-year-old top pitching prospect has been diagnosed with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. A doctor has recommended Tommy John surgery for Whitley, who will seek a second opinion before following through with the procedure, according to multiple reports.

The injury marks the latest health setback for Whitley, who was shut down early last season because of forearm pain. He also has dealt with shoulder and oblique injuries during his time in the Astros’ farm system.

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Houston drafted Whitley in the first round (No. 17 overall) in 2016. He has 289 strikeouts in 197 innings in the minor leagues. He last pitched in late 2019 in the Arizona Fall League, where he went 3-2 with a 2.88 ERA in six starts.

–Field Level Media