Brewers Lose A Second Prospect To Torn ACL
A torn anterior cruciate ligament is not a common injury in baseball. Organizations can go years without a prospect blowing out a knee.
Yet, when Double-A Biloxi first baseman Jake Gatewood tore the ACL in his left knee on July 24, he became the second Brewers prospect to suffer that injury this season. Gatewood was running out a grounder when a wide throw carried the first baseman into his path, resulting in a quick, evasive maneuver that injured the knee.
"Unfortunately, that caused Jake to hit the bag awkwardly, and he ultimately went to the ground and suffered the injury,” farm director Tom Flanagan said.
Back in April, the Brewers lost their top middle infield prospect, Mauricio Dubon, when he suffered a torn ACL trying to escape a rundown at Triple-A Colorado Springs.
"It was certainly unfortunate for both players to suffer ACL injuries,” Flanagan said. "Both were unusual circumstances, not routine baseball plays.”
The 22-year-old Gatewood was selected in the supplemental first round of the 2014 draft after showing tremendous promise as a prep slugger in Clovis, Calif. It took him a while to get going as a professional, but he made significant progress in recent seasons and reached Double-A in 2017.
Gatewood was having another solid season for the Shuckers, batting .244/.302/.466 with 19 home runs—a career high—in 94 games. He made the first half all-star team in the Southern League and would have participated in the home run derby had he not suffered a bruised wrist when hit by a pitch.
Dubon, 24, is expected to be ready for the start of spring training, but the timing of Gatewood’s injury likely will delay his start to 2019. The Brewers don’t think his progress will suffer a huge setback.
"You always hate to see guys have major injuries, but this shouldn’t otherwise impact Jake’s development,” Flanagan said. "He was doing very well this year and making progress. He should make a full recovery and be ready to go for 2019.”
Pacific Coast League Top 20 Prospects For 2019
Considering the state of offense in the PCL, it's no surprise 15 of the 20 best prospects are bats.
** Righthander Zack Brown, who went 9-0, 2.34 in 19 games at Biloxi, sprained his left ankle trying to avoid a comebacker on July 22 and was expected to miss at least a month, which put him in danger of missing the rest of the season.
** Colorado Springs catcher Jacob Nottingham suffered a chip fracture in his right wrist when struck by a foul ball on July 29 and also was in danger of missing the remainder of the season.