Braves' standout pitching prospect tragically suffers season-ending elbow injury

Atlanta has lost another budding prospect to an unfortunate season-ending surgery.

Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals - Game One
Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals - Game One / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

The Atlanta Braves lost yet another player to injury as top prospect Owen Murphy's season is over due to needing Tommy John surgery. Murphy will undergo the procedure, ending a great run for the young pitcher.

This news comes during a breakout season for Murphy. The 2022 first-round draft pick was putting on a show for the High-A Rome Emperors. In seven starts and 41 innings, Murphy put together a 1.54 ERA, 2.20 FIP, 3.01 xFIP, 38.7% strikeout rate, and 7.7% walk rate. The 31.0% strikeout-to-walk rate was the fifth-best in ALL of minor league baseball.

Yes, you read that right, ALL of minor league baseball. Across all levels, Murphy had the fifth-best K-BB% among all minor league pitchers.

Murphy had taken a huge step forward in his age-20 season. In his last outing on May 14th, he went 6.1 scoreless innings, allowing only three hits, no walks, and struck out 11 batters. He was dominating High-A to the point that fans were beginning to expect a promotion to Double-A Mississippi.

Unfortunately, the breakout season has been cut short. It is a sad reality that Tommy John is essentially an expected outcome for a majority of pitchers these days. He will join JR Ritchie as yet another Braves pitching prospect on the shelf for the season.

Hopefully, this is just a minor setback for Murphy's career. He is only 20 and won't turn 21 until September. The Braves can be patient as he will not be Rule 5 eligible until after the 2026 season. This means while Murphy will most likely miss the start of the 2025 season, the Braves can afford to show some patience with the young pitching prospect.

Braves fans will hope for a successful surgery and an easy recovery process so that they can see Murphy get back on track and rightfully rise through the minor league system. Today though, we mourn the loss of another top pitching prospect to the dreaded Tommy John surgery.

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