Author Topic: How Astros prospects Forrest Whitley, Corbin Martin topped 110 mph  (Read 314 times)

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 Chandler Rome , Houston Chronicle Feb. 7, 2019

Forrest Whitley captured all attention on the second day of baseball's winter meetings.

Inside an enclosed bullpen at Dynamic Sports Training in Tomball, Whitley gripped a three-ounce ball with his right hand. He sprinted forward, crow-hopped twice and fired it into a black net at 110.6 mph.

The video sharing his accomplishment garnered more than 500,000 impressions on Twitter. Justin Verlander responded with a photo of himself holding a radar gun. Reporters in Las Vegas prodded Astros manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow about the clip on the same night it appeared. At an annual convergence of baseball's powerful and prestigious, a kid stole the show.

Online aggregators far and wide rushed to work, penning the latest headline for Houston's most heralded pitching prospect of this decade. Whitley left them with little material. His tweet contained only an emoji with shrugging shoulders, part a flex for the absurd number and a challenge for anyone to approach it.

Corbin Martin accepted. He is another of DST's clients, an imposing list that includes Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman and Tyler White. After Whitley's video surfaced, lighthearted jeering at Martin's expense was abundant.

So on Jan. 29, the Astros' No. 5 overall prospect told Kevin Poppe to record his run-and-throw — a drill more commonly called a "pulldown."

"Corbin originally wanted to do it out of competition," said Poppe, a minority owner of DST, which boasts three locations in the Houston area.

Martin, a righthander, sprinted forward two steps, crow-hopped, bore all his weight on his left leg and hummed the ball toward the net.
"111," a DST employee shouted.

Whatever adrenaline Martin manufactured aided a string of excitedly uttered expletives. He and Poppe shared the development with Whitley through a text message.

"I don't believe it," Whitley fired back.

No matter. Martin's video surfaced on Twitter and still resides on Instagram.

"I wasn't that mad," Whitley said Saturday, having had four days to mourn his shattered benchmark.

He who makes an attempt to enslave me, thereby puts himself into a state of war with me.

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