Connor Prielipp, a left-handed pitcher for the University of Alabama, will undergo Tommy John surgery on Thursday, according to Kendall Rogers of D1 Baseball. The timing of Prielipp's operation means that he will miss the rest of the 2021 season as well as the entirety of the 2022 campaign.
Prielipp made just three appearances this year, most recently on May 16 against Louisiana State University. In that outing, he allowed two runs on three hits, including a home run. For his collegiate career, he now possesses a 0.96 ERA and a 6.71 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 28 innings. Prielipp has punched out 47 of the 103 batters he's faced since arriving on campus.
Prielipp, who will turn 21 years old next January, was expected to enter next spring as one of the top arms available in next year's amateur draft. Here's the report Rogers offered:
The hard-throwing lefthander had a terrific fall. He was 92-95 and up to 96 mph with his fastball in the fall, along with a filthy 88-90 mph slider and a mid-80s changeup. He drew comparisons to former high first-round pick Asa Lacy in the fall and was primed to have a massive spring. He was going to change the dynamic for the Crimson Tide.
It's to be seen how teams will evaluate Prielipp and the risk that comes with drafting him next summer. J.T. Ginn slipped to the second round of last year's draft after making just one start before succumbing to Tommy John surgery. Gunnar Hoglund, meanwhile, is still expected to go in the first round this July after undergoing the knife earlier this month.
Prielipp may have found himself in the running for the No. 1 pick next year. The odds-on favorite for that position -- and keep in mind this more of an art than a science -- is Florida prep outfielder Elijah Green.