Daulton Jefferies getting Tommy John

Posted by Jason Wojciechowski on April 21, 2017 at 7:53 AM

Here's unfortunte news from the minors: Daulton Jefferies, the A's second-round pick last year, is headed for Tommy John surgery. Jefferies is a right-handed pitcher out of UC Berkeley who apparently fell out of the first round because of a shoulder injury early in his draft season. He's small, listed at just six feet and 180 pounds, so he's already hving the kinds of issues you worry about with a pitcher who doesn't have prototypical size. MLB.com had him ranked as the A's eighth-best prospect and Baseball Prospectus ranked him seventh. My Baseball America book is ... over there, and I've got a cat on me so I don't want to go get it. Sorry.

Jefferies will turn 22 later this year, and based on typical Tommy John recovery times, could be 23 before he makes his return (though his August birthday means this is his "age-21 season"). He was pitching at Stockton this year, but he threw just seven innings before hitting the DL, so on a level-a-year developmental schedule (not that there's any such thing as a normal developmental schedule, but just taking this as a benchmark), he's probably looking at Stockton in 2019, Midland in 2020, Nashville in 2021, which means hopefully the majors in his age-26 season. He'll also hit the period of a prospect's life when a team has to put him on the 40-man roster or risk losing him in the Rule 5 draft "earlier"1 and that period can be disruptive if you actually get selected in the Rule 5.

All of which is to say, on top of the fact that TJ still doesn't have a 100 percent success rate, especially in terms of return to the same effectiveness the pitcher had before the surgery, that I'm glad Jefferies got $1.3 million in a signing bonus already, because whatever odds a player has to overcome just to make the majors in the first place, those just got a little longer for Jefferies.

  1. Unless there's an injury exemption, like a one-year delay because of major injury, built in? I couldn't find anything but I didn't look very hard. The theme of this morning's post is: laziness!