Orioles' Pop undergoes Tommy John surgery

No. 19 prospect had 11 punchouts over 10 2/3 relief frames

Zach Pop has a career 1.34 ERA and 0.91 WHIP across four Minor League levels. (Bert Hindman/MiLB.com)

By Rob Terranova / MiLB.com | May 14, 2019 5:05 PM

Zach Pop -- the Orioles' No. 19 prospect -- underwent successful Tommy John surgery, the team announced Tuesday.

The right-handed relief pitcher was off to an impressive start this season before suffering an injury to the UCL ligament in his right elbow -- posting a 0.84 ERA and 1.03 WHIP while allowing a single run and striking out 11 over 10 2/3 innings out of the bullpen for Double-A Bowie.

The 22-year-old made his last appearance on April 30, recording the final out of the seventh inning for the Baysox against Richmond -- and fanning No. 13 Giants prospect Heath Quinn on four pitches -- before being removed from the game. He was placed on the seven-day injured list on May 1. Pop held opponents to a .184 average over eight appearances in April.

The 2017 seventh-rounder for the Dodgers was rising quickly through the Minors before his injury. After making five appearances with the Rookie-level Arizona League Dodgers and allowing two hits and two walks over five scoreless frames in 2017, Pop opened his sophomore campaign with Class A Great Lakes, where he continued to exhibit dominating form. The Kentucky product whiffed 24 and walked seven over 16 1/3 innings for the Loons before earning a promotion to Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga. Pop continued to improve with the Quakes, posting a 0.33 ERA and 0.70 WHIP in 19 appearances (27 innings).

That performance made him a pivotal piece of the trade that sent All-Star Manny Machado to Los Angeles last July.

Pop was promoted again upon joining his new organization, reporting to Bowie where he finished the 2018 season making 14 appearances for the Baysox and allowing six earned runs over 21 1/3 frames while holding opponents to a .189 average and posting a 0.94 WHIP.

Rob Terranova is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter, @RobTnova24. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

View More