With the seventeenth overall pick, the Astros nabbed the player with quite possibly the highest upside on the board. Forrest Whitley is a RHP out of high school and could develop into a top of the rotation type pitcher. He has the fastball (92-97), he has two breaking balls (hard slider and low-80's curve), and a changeup that has gotten improving reviews as he's used it more.
True four pitch offerings are becoming more rare. You see pitchers specialize with one breaking ball and then pick up a cutter later on. He has two true breaking balls and not a curve and cutter. The Astros may have him ditch the slider and bring it back later.
Other options were mostly guys who had slightly lower ceilings. It was something we discussed a lot around here with this pick going into the draft; ceiling vs. floor. It's harder to get return on investment the farther from the top of the draft you go. And while the risk is higher with him, his return could be higher because he could be the best player left on the board at the time of the pick.
in Jeff Luhnow's five drafts as the GM of the Houston Astros, he's selected three high school players with the first pick. He's selected a pitcher with three of those five picks.
In 2012, Carlos Correa arguably had the highest ceiling.
In 2013, Mark Appel was in the discussion as the highest ceiling and highest floor since he was thought to be ML ready and frontline starter upside.
In 2014, Brady Aiken was the highest ceiling pitcher.
In 2015, Alex Bregman was thought to be a higher floor type over Brendon Rodgers. He's looking like a pretty high ceiling type though as well. Could the Astros believed he was the highest ceiling as well?
The Astros have shown a tendency for high ceilings with their first selections.
I personally anticipated Whitley to be selected a little earlier than this pick. Many mocks did too. The Astros have to be excited about him falling to them.