We’ve all likely experienced it at one time or another.
For many Major League Baseball general managers and scouts the correlation between the rash of arm and shoulder injuries in pro ball can be attributed to overuse at a young age. It further complicates matters as million-dollar decisions often hinge on the health of the draft prospects they’ve been scouting for several years.
“The college pitching, because of the rash of injuries at the major league level, has really put scouts on alert in terms of pitch counts at the college level,” ESPN baseball insider Pedro Gomez explained to Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat during his weekly segment Wednesday morning, just hours before the MLB draft. “The college coaches don’t seem to mind when these guys throw 130 pitches then come back maybe two days later and maybe close out a game.”
Gomez believes the issue stretches as far down as the high school level where kids are throwing harder and more often with year-round baseball becoming more and more common around the country. The stress and strain at a young age easily transforms to problems down the road.
“Those are sending up a lot of red flags right now among scouting directors and front-office people,” Gomez said. “Because of the rash of arm injuries we’ve seen the last couple of years at the major league level punctuated by the last 12 months or so of the bigger name guys that have gone down primarily because of Tommy John surgeries.”
Some of the top prospects in the draft have arm concerns and Gomez believes we may see some of them drop because of it.
The Diamondbacks select 16th overall in the first round and also have the 54th, 69th and 70th pick on Thursday.