Twins top pitching prospects needs Tommy John surgery, again

  • Connor Prielipp is the No. 3 prospect in the Twins farm system
  • This is the second time since 2021 Prielipp needs UCL surgery
Minnesota Twins v Kansas City Royals
Minnesota Twins v Kansas City Royals / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages

For the first time in as long as we can remember, the Minnesota Twins pitching staff is actually something to be proud of. Two starters went to the All-Star Game this year -- Sonny Gray and Pablo Lopez -- and it feels like we're in the polar opposite place we were last year in terms of how everyone in Twins Territory felt about the unit.

If the offense could get going, the Twins have the ability to be unstoppable.

As good as the pitching staff has been, there was an outside chance it could gotten even ore exciting. Heading into the season there was hope that top pitching prospect Connor Prielipp might be able to work his way through the farm system and potentially knock on the door for late-September call to the Majors.

Prielipp was the Twins second-round pick last season, and many believed he could have been a top pick in the entire draft if not for an injury that required him to undergo Tommy John surgery during his final season at Alabama.

After working his way back, Prielipp has suffered yet another setback only a handful of seasons into his career. After hitting the IL in April, the Twins officially shut Prielipp down for the season last week and received worst-case-scenario news on Friday.

Twins No. 3 prospect needs Tommy John surgery, again

For the second time in three years, Prielipp will be undergoing UCL surgery. Twins beat writer Do-Hyoung Park reported that there's a chance he won't need a full reconstruction, but that won't be known until the procedure happens.

Either way, Prielipp is done for the foreseeable future and another bright young Twins prospect has had his journey sidetracked by an injury.

Twins president of baseball operations Derek Falvey raved about Prielipp's spring earlier this season.

“Man, he was outstanding in Spring Training,” Falvey said. “The fastball-slider combo looked like it was much more advanced than we thought it was even when we drafted him.”

Undergoing Tommy John surgery will likely put Prielipp out of action until at least late-2024, and it's now looking like he won't factor into the Twins plans at the big league level until after 2025. This unfortunately isn't new territory for the organization, as Royce Lewis suffered two ACL injuries between being drafted in 2017 and making his true debut with the Twins this season.

Lewis is back on the IL and the bad news for Prielipp only adds to the growing number of injuries the Twins have had to deal with so far this season.