Cubs' Villanueva suffers broken fibula

No. 26 prospect to undergo surgery Monday, out several months

Christian Villanueva drove in 75 runs in his last 88 games for Triple-A Iowa last season. (Chris Donahue/Iowa Cubs)

By Daren Smith / MiLB.com | February 28, 2016 6:25 PM

Chicago Cubs prospect Christian Villanueva, who finished 11th in the Minor Leagues in RBIs last season, suffered a fractured right fibula during infield drills on Sunday, MLB.com reported.

Villanueva is expected to undergo surgery on Monday and likely will be sidelined a few months.

"It was a ground ball. I guess he hopped up to jump in the air and you come back down and that's how it happened," Cubs manager Joe Maddon told MLB.com. "It's just crazy. It's really unfortunate. This kid came in, ready to go."

The 24-year-old corner infielder started last season at Double-A Tennessee but quickly was promoted to Triple-A Iowa. He was named Pacific Coast League Player of the Week in early June following a stretch in which he hit .478 (11-for-23) with homers in four straight games and 13 RBIs.

Villanueva, ranked 26th among Cubs prospects by MLB.com, ended up with a .257/.314/.438 slash line, 20 homers and 95 RBIs across two levels.

Acquired with pitcher Kyle Hendricks from the Texas Rangers in the 2012 trade deadline deal for pitcher Ryan Dempster, the Mexico native earned MiLB.com Organization All-Star honors in 2013 after hitting .261 with 19 homers and 72 RBIs for Tennessee.

"It's a tough break, literally, for him," Maddon said. "He's such a good kid."

Daren Smith is an editor for MiLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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