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Oops! All Astros: Tyler Whitaker

Highly touted prospect Tyler Whitaker’s 2022 campaign leaves us with a few questions.

We’re reviewing every player to appear in Houston’s system in 2022.

Tyler Whitaker is a six-foot-four, 190 lb. right-handed outfielder from Las Vegas, NV. Born on August 2, 2022, he was Houston’s third-round choice in 2021. Taken 87th overall, he signed with the Astros to a deal that included a $1.5 million signing bonus.

As an 87th overall pick, Whitaker has something in common with 15 who eventually became major leaguers, led by Doug Drabek (29.2 WAR). Taken out of Bishop Gorman HS, Whitaker was the 28th of 29 players drafted, and he could someday be the seventh to get to the majors.

Whitaker’s bat speed and the leverage in his 6-foot-4 frame create plus raw power with the potential for more as he gets stronger. He made a more concerted effort to drive the ball in 2021, though his right-handed stroke gets too long at times, leading to swing-and-miss concerns. - MLB Pipeline

After signing, Whitaker joined the Rookie-Level GCL Astros and over a 29-game first look slashed out a .202/.263/.327 line. He jacked three homers with six RBI and stole eight bases in nine attempts.

For the 2022 campaign, Whitaker got promoted up to the Low-A Fayetteville Woodpeckers and led the team with 122 appearances. Early in the season, he put together a 12-game hitting streak, going 13-for-49 from April 12 through April 24.

On July 31, Whitaker hit a double and a home run with three RBI in a 5-4 loss to the Carolina Mudcats. That performance led into his best month of the season, when he slashed .253/.343/.453 in 108 plate appearances, with four homers and 13 RBI.

Outside of August, Whitaker had a less-than-stellar campaign. He finished the season with a .197/.266/.313 slashline, although he did rank second on the Woodpeckers with 11 homers and tied for the team lead with 54 RBI. He drew 41 walks and struck out 180 times in 515 plate appearances. Whitaker also stole 16 bases in 20 attempts.

Although Whitaker had a season he’d likely rather forget, it would do to remember that he just recently left his teenage years. His age-20 campaign begins with the 2023 season, and he’s likely to begin the year at the High-A level with the Asheville Tourists.