Top pick Stratton takes liner off head

Concussion could end season for Giants pitching prospect

By Robert Emrich / Special to MLB.com | August 21, 2012 9:53 PM

Giants' first-round pick Chris Stratton was expected to remain hospitalized overnight after he was struck in the head by a line drive during batting practice Tuesday night in Keizer, Ore.

Stratton, who's made eight appearances for short-season Salem-Keizer, was taken from Volcanoes Stadium by ambulance. His father, Lee, texted the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss., that the Mississippi native is "OK" and will stay in the hospital for observation.

Giants vice president of baseball operations Bobby Evans told CSNBayArea.com, "He's at the hospital now being evaluated to make sure it's nothing more than a concussion. He does have symptoms of a concussion. They are working on the diagnosis to confirm that. They are going to be cautious and thorough."

With only 10 games left in the Northwest League season, it's unlikely Stratton will return to the mound. He's 0-1 with a 2.78 ERA over 16 1/3 innings, striking out 16 batters and walking 10.

The right-hander, who turns 22 on Wednesday, was selected 20th overall in June after earning Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Year honors at Mississippi State. In 17 games for the Bulldogs, including 12 starts, he was 11-2 with a 2.38 ERA.

Stratton is the second Minor Leaguer in less than a week to be felled by a line drive. Lowell Spinners left-hander Brian Johnson, a first-round pick of the Red Sox, suffered multiple facial fractures while pitching in the first inning of Saturday's Futures at Fenway doubleheader.

Robert Emrich is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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