Rays lose top prospect Taylor Guerrieri to Tommy John surgery

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Top Rays prospect Taylor Guerrieri will have Tommy John surgery, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. The right-hander visited Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday morning, at which point the decision was made to have the procedure in the afternoon.

Guerrieri, 20, received a $1.6 million signing bonus as the 24th overall pick in the 2011 draft. Baseball America ranked him the 24th best prospect in the game in their recent look at the game's top minor leaguer. They called him a "potential frontline starter" in their 2013 Prospect Handbook.

In 14 starts with Low Class-A Bowling Green, Guerrieri had a 2.01 ERA with a 4.25 K/BB and 0.99 WHIP in 67 innings. He was selected to the 2013 Futures Game a few weeks ago, but had to back out due to what was called "rest."

Tommy John surgery typically carries a 12-month recovery timeframe, but Topkin notes the team is likely to play it safe with their top pitching prospect. Guerrieri will be out until 2015, for all intents and purposes.

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