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LA Angels: Taking a look at the division rival Houston Astros

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Justin Verlander, Houston Astros (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Justin Verlander, Houston Astros (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 13: Owner Jim Crane of the Houston Astros reads a prepared statement during a press conference at FITTEAM Ballpark of The Palm Beaches on February 13, 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 13: Owner Jim Crane of the Houston Astros reads a prepared statement during a press conference at FITTEAM Ballpark of The Palm Beaches on February 13, 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

On the Farm

Top 5

Forrest Whitley (#17 overall)

Freudis Nova

Bryan Abreu

Jeremy Pena

Korey Lee

For years in the middle of the decade, the Astros year after year produced one of the top farm systems in the MLB. Now entering 2021 and having graduating many of their top prospects, the Astros farm system is one of the least promising in the league. At the conclusion of 2020, Forrest Whitley was the only member of the farm system to rank in the MLB’s top 100 prospects. In addition, the Astros had to forfeit their first two draft picks in both 2020 and 2021 as a result of their sign stealing scandal, thus decreasing the likeliness of reinforcements coming anytime soon.

Player Highlight: Forrest Whitley, RHP

2021 Outlook: Whitley was taken 17th overall in the 2016 and has been ranked at the top of the Astros farm system for 4 years now. After dealing with various oblique, lat, and shoulder injuries, Whitley seems to finally be healthy and ready to make an impact at the major league level. Whitley mixes 5 pitches into his repertoire that all grade as plus or better, including a mid to high 90s fastball, a best-in-the minors changeup, late-biting curveball, wipeout slider, and maybe the best of the bunch, a wicked cutter that cuts hard into lefties. Should Whitley be able to stay healthy and limit his walks, the nastiness of his pure stuff alone should allow him to pitch at the top of the rotation for years to come. Look for Whitley to break into the Astros rotation in the summer of 2021.

Next. Angels not eyeing catcher upgrade

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