Max Fried, the Padres' top pitching prospect, will undergo Tommy John surgery and likely will miss the entire 2015 season.
The announcement caps an essentially lost season for Fried, who made only five starts between Class A Fort Wayne and the Rookie-level Arizona League. He went 0-1 with a 5.06 ERA, missing the first three months with soreness in his left forearm. He last pitched on July 21 for the TinCaps, allowing two runs on two hits in two innings, before he was sidelined with what was termed elbow soreness.
The procedure will be performed on Wednesday.
"Anytime a young pitcher anywhere, regardless of what organization he is, a guy just getting started ... that's tough," Padres manager Bud Black told MLB.com. "The way the surgeons are in today's day and age, and the success of Tommy John [surgery], we have to hope for the best in the future for Max and hope that he's one of those many pitchers that comes back from Tommy John and resumes his career and pitches to the potential that all our scouts believe he can pitch to."
Selected seventh overall in the 2012 Draft out of Harvard-Westlake High School in Studio City, California, Fried went 6-7 with a 3.49 ERA and 100 strikeouts over 118 2/3 innings in 23 starts for Fort Wayne last season. MLB.com's No. 57 overall prospect averaged 7.58 strikeouts per nine innings to rank second among Midwest League starters.
Fried is the latest top prospect to undergo ligament replacement surgery, joining Pirates right-hander Jameson Taillon, A's righty Raul Alcantara and Twins third baseman Miguel Sano.