Marlins' Garrett has Tommy John surgery

Top pitching prospect unlikely to return until 2019 season

Braxton Garrett had a 2.93 ERA and 16 strikeouts over 15 2/3 innings in four starts this season. (Tracy Proffitt/Hickory Crawdads)

By Chris Tripodi / MiLB.com | June 20, 2017 8:25 PM

The Marlins took it slowly with their 2016 first-round pick, but that didn't prevent him from getting hurt.

Braxton Garrett, MLB.com's No. 37 overall prospect, underwent Tommy John surgery Tuesday after being diagnosed with a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow two weeks ago. He'll miss 12 to 14 months, jeopardizing his 2018 season.

"Obviously, you wanted to get him out into his first full season and continue on his development program," Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill told MLB.com. "He was off to a good start, was throwing well. We know, unfortunately, it's part of the game. We'll get it addressed now, get him back in 12 to 14 months and continue his professional career."

The 19-year-old left-hander lasted 1 2/3 innings in his last start for Class A Greensboro on May 25. He gave up four runs on six hits, including two homers -- the first two he'd allowed this season. The Marlins' top prospect had given up three runs -- one earned -- on seven hits and six walks with 12 strikeouts over 13 2/3 frames in his previous three starts.

Garrett didn't pitch last year after being drafted No. 7 overall. He went to the instructional league in the fall and was sent to extended spring training to start this season before joining Greensboro, where he allowed one hit over 4 2/3 frames in his debut.

The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Alabama native wasn't the only Marlins pitcher to go under the knife this week, as No. 14 prospect Jordan Holloway had Tommy John surgery Monday.

"I want to get them healthy so they're ready for this rotation," Hill said. "Unfortunately, it's part of it."

Tyler Kolek, the second overall selection in the 2014 Draft, had Tommy John surgery last April and missed the entire 2016 season after making 25 starts for Greensboro in 2015. He's in extended spring training but likely will join the Grasshoppers in the near future.

Chris Tripodi is an editor for MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @christripodi. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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