The Toronto Blue Jays took catcher Max Pentecost with the number 11 pick in the 2014 draft, at the time nabbing the best pure catcher available. The liked his solid bat and his advanced skills behind the plate predicted a quick rise through a Blue Jays that was bereft of stud catching prospects.
Well, it’s time to pump the breaks a little bit.
According to Alexis Brudnicki of the Canadian Baseball Network, the Blue Jays #6 overall prospect (MLB.com) underwent surgery on October 8th.
Seems innocuous enough right? A lot of players undergo minor procedures at the end of the season. Considering his season was ended on August 7th with a wrist injury, one could almost assume it was a related issue. But not quite:
Alright, perhaps we can insert some panic here.
As always, Andrew Stoeten at Drunk Jays Fans does a great job analyzing the injury, noting that Brian McCann (then of the Braves) was back from labrum surgery within the prescribed four months of recovery time. However, Stoeten notes that McCann needed a year to get fully healthy, something that would slow Pentecost’s push through the Blue Jays system.
The Blue Jays are no stranger to catching prospects being slowed by injuries. Repeated injury issues slowed the rise of Travis d’Arnaud and ultimately made him available via trade by the Blue Jays front office. Additionally, Pentecost’s predecessor as stud catching prospect, A.J. Jimenez has dealt with Tommy John surgery, ankle injuries, further elbow pains, and splinters along the course of his own development.
That’s not to say that Pentecost’s surgery will automatically label him as “injury prone”, but it dampers the excitement of his .324/.330/.419 campaign in his first pro season, at least a little bit.
They say the hardest thing to do is wait, but that’s exactly what we as fans will need to do. McCann was a full seven years older when he underwent the surgery, so maybe the virtues of youth will win out in our favor this time and Pentecost will return at the beginning of next season and hit the ground running.
Endless optimism, right?!