It’s been a week of heartbreaking injuries and White Sox prospects on the rise. Things are still largely quiet on the western front, but with the non-waiver trade deadline approaching some major moves are sure to be brewing in the upcoming weeks. In the meantime, let’s get to this week’s news!
On The Shelf
Like distant thunder or a Gchat from Craig, an Orioles pitching prospect leaving his start early instills a sense of deep foreboding. Hunter Harvey was lifted from his most recent turn at Low-A Aberdeen in the second inning. Soreness in his right flexor mass was the stated reason, and Harvey reportedly underwent an MRI before paying a visit to the honorable Dr.James Andrews. Uh oh. Sure enough, the worst-case scenario was confirmed yesterday, and he’ll require Tommy John surgery, which will in all likelihood knock him out until 2018. It’s an unfortunate development, though perhaps not the most shocking given his medical file.
More tough news for the promising-yet-often-injured Kyle Zimmer: thoracic outlet syndrome will end his season. The Royals’ top pitching prospect logged just five and two-thirds innings this season before the team shut him down with a chillingly vague “arm fatigue” diagnosis. This is another setback in a long list of them for Zimmer, who has now missed time for an elbow injury, a lat issue that forced him out for all of 2014, and a shoulder debridement that affected his rotator cuff and labrum last year. Here’s hoping Zimmer can get past this and finally stay healthy in 2017. .
Another prospect named Kyle, another season-ending injury. Mariners’ first-rounder Kyle Lewis suffered a torn ACL, as well as a torn medial and lateral meniscus, in his right knee after a rough collision at home plate. This news is as bitter as it gets for Lewis, an outstanding athlete with a list of collegiate honors a mile long, including the 2016 Golden Spikes Award. Lewis was tearing up Low-A to the tune of a .299/.385/.530 line in his first 30 professional games.
Ian Clarkin, the Yankees’ first-round selection in 2013, was removed from his start at High-A Tampa with an undisclosed arm injury, and was subsequently placed on the disabled list. This is a tough break for Clarkin, who missed time in 2015 with elbow inflammation at around this same point in the season. With no details released by the club the extent of the injury is unclear, as is an estimate for his return date.
Movin’ On Up
Adam Engel continues to surprise and delight with his plus-plus speed and developing hit tool, and now he’s earned a promotion to Triple-A Charlotte. The White Sox have to be patting themselves on the back, as their 19th-round selection has done nothing but impress in his climb through the minors. Engel’s lack of power limits his overall upside, but the floor is that of a useful fourth outfielder with plenty of space for more if the hit tool holds on.
To fill Engel’s roster spot at Double-A Birmingham, the White Sox promoted right-hander Spencer Adams. Drafted in the second round in 2014, Adams has moved quickly through the minors on the strength of his fastball command and an effective slider. He failed to miss as many bats as expected in the Carolina League, with just 6.2 whiffs-per-nine, and he allowed his share of baserunners along the way. But Chicago has chosen an aggressive track for the 20-year-old, who is poised to become one of the youngest active pitchers in the Southern League.
Brayan Hernandez, the Mariners’ young, volatile, and promising outfield prospect, has made his stateside debut for the club’s Rookie squad in Arizona after a season and a half in the Dominican Summer League. Considered one of the top International Free Agents in his class, Hernandez flashes plus speed, an above-average hit tool, and the capacity to play center. He’s still 18 and the risk remains extreme, but it’s an encouraging step in his development.