It’s a story that’s getting old fast for Minnesota Twins fans, as yet another top prospect has suffered a setback before he can make his debut with the team.
Shortstop Austin Martin’s 2023 season is in jeopardy before it even starts.
According to The Athletic’s Aaron Gleeman, Martin is being shut down after suffering a UCL sprain. The Twins haven’t officially commented on a timetable for his return, but typically this sort of injury is a precursor to a player needing Tommy John surgery.
“Twins prospect Austin Martin has a UCL sprain in his right elbow and will be shut down from throwing and hitting,” Gleeman reported. “It's an unfortunate setback for Martin, who finished last season on a high note and looked good early in camp.”
This injury seems to be yet another frustrating setback for a once promising prospect.
Minnesota Twins News: Austin Martin shut down with UCL sprain
Martin was the top prospect in the Twins farm system at the start of last season and was one of MLB.com’s Top 20 prospects in all of baseball back in 2021, a year after being the No. 5 pick in the 2020 MLB Draft.
Such things are why there was so much hype about Martin when he was part of the trade package Minnesota received from the Blue Jays for Jose Berrios two years ago, but one of the knocks against him was that he seemed to be stuck in the mud in terms of working his way up to the majors.
Despite his promise, Martin’s career thus far has been a series of false starts and hard stops.
Last season, Martin slumped hard at Double-A Wichita, hitting a meager .249 with just a single home run in 63 games. A wrist injury ended his season early, but there was hope he’d bounce back this year and finally find a way to have an impact with the Twins at the Major League level.
Martin was a non-roster invite to Spring Training this year, along with fellow shortstop Brooks Lee who has since passed him as the top prospect in the Twins system. The hope was that Martin could work with Lee but also learn from Carlos Correa in Fort Myers in order to ready himself for Big League duties.
All of that is on hold now, as the team waits to see how serious his injury is. There’s hope that Martin won’t need Tommy John surgery, and such a thing hasn’t yet been mentioned as a possibility. But it’s not hard to connect the dots after hearing of his UCL sprain, and difficult to not feel Martin’s furstration at what appears to be another set back.