Astros promote prospect Whitley to Double-A

Righty ranked No. 2 in organization by MLBPipeline.com; No. 10 Perez also joins Hooks

Astros promote prospect Whitley to Double-A

ARLINGTON -- The Astros have promoted Forrest Whitley to Double-A Corpus Christi. Whitley, the team's first-round Draft pick last year, began this season by pitching 12 games at Class A Quad Cities before being promoted to Class A Advanced Buies Creek.

Whitley, 19, is a combined 5-4 with a 3.01 ERA in 19 games (16 starts) at Quad Cities and Buies Creek, striking out 117 batters in 77 2/3 innings. He's walked only 30 batters and is averaging 13.6 strikeouts per nine innings. He is the team's No. 2-ranked prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com.

The Hooks will play in San Antonio -- Whitley's home town -- Aug. 26-28.

Cuban left-hander Cionel Perez was also promoted to Corpus Christi from Buies Creek. Like Whitley, he began the year at Quad Cities and had pitched in five games at Buies Creek, going 2-1 with a 2.84 ERA. In 17 games (13 starts) this year at both levels, he's 6-4 with a 3.90 ERA, 73 strikeouts and 22 walks in 80 2/3 innings.

Perez, the Astros' No. 10-ranked prospect, originally agreed to a $5.15 million bonus with the club in September 2016, but the deal was voided when a physical led to concerns about his elbow. He officially signed for $2 million in December -- Houston had to match that amount as a penalty for exceeding its international bonus pool -- and expressed his frustration with the process afterward.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.