Tommy John Young and draft


Ok I was talking to a friend of mine that is a Padres area scout. And the subject of High School pitching prospects that have TJ done young now have a 7 year shelf life on their operations. Has anyone else heard that? So I asked him about the 2014 draft that had kids either just had it or getting it. He said that it had to do with the teams being able to control the surgery and rehabilitation.


I have read that Tommy John surgery in youth pitchers has a significantly lower success rate than does the surgery when performed on adult, fully developed pitchers, largely due to the fact that youth pitchers still have open growth plates.


I can believe that. When coming back from an injury - especially to a joint - it’s natural to favor that joint until physically it is healed and strengthened and until mentally you have regained your confidence in it. Unfortunately, that can result in over-taxing adjacent joints. Thinking in terms of the stability/mobility model, that can result in trying to use stable joints as mobile joints or vice versa. And that is asking for a “cascade injury”. Throw soft growth plates into the mix and, well, yeah.


Interesting points. Used to be TJ significantly hurt MLB draft status for HS and college kids. Now not so much in my opinion. Especially if it’s done by Andrews.


Your friend - Padres Scout, is absolutely correct. The consensus in the circles that I traveled in, labeled these high school, and even college pitchers, as “damaged goods.” I know this is unfair, and even unreasonable, but that’s the way it was for my work.

Your friend who is with the Padres brings up an excellent point about the surgery and rehabilitation. Since the amateur world has so many variables in regards to controlling who does what surgery wise, how long and what quality of attention goes into rehab, I really couldn’t see putting money on the line for something “if-ee” down the road that’s going to possibly have greater odds of wasting that money. There are just too many healthy amateurs with good arms in the marketplace - a bumper crop in fact.