I’m sure this was not the news new GM AJ Preller wanted when he took the reigns over the Padres. Top prospect and former 7th overall pick Max Fried will undergo Tommy John surgery on August 20th. The last we had heard from Fried was that he was getting a second opinion on his elbow, and from there we could only fear the worst. Now that fear has been realized, and it couldn’t have come at a worse time.
Getting Tommy John is bad, but getting it late in the season makes it even worse. It was already a lost season for Fried, where he had only pitched in 5 games due to a forearm injury, but now he will have to miss the entirety of the 2015 season as well. Now the next time we’ll get to see Fried pitch will be him back in A ball in 2016. For a guy drafted 2012, he will have been with the organization for 3 full years and have moved up only from Rookie ball to A ball in that time.
While he could have a long prosperous career ahead of even with all the setbacks, it’s safe to say he was a miss with the 7th overall pick. There was some talent taken after him like Andrew Heaney, Addison Russel, Lucas Giolito, and Michael Wacha. You can’t fault Josh Byrnes and his staff for Fried’s failure thus far, because projecting injuries is too hard for anyone to do. Giolito, for example, could have been the top pick that year if it weren’t for injuries that made him fall. Now some say he has “the best raw stuff” out of anyone.
While the Tommy John bug keeps sweeping the nation, especially here in San Diego, we can only hope that Fried is the last Padre for a long while to go under the knife for such a serious procedure. I’m sure I speak for all Padres fans when I wish him a full and speedy recovery.