After the 2007 season that saw the Arizona Diamondbacks exceed expectations and reach the National League Championship Series, the team decided to make a blockbuster trade to bring in another front line starter.
General Manager Josh Byrnes would make a trade with the Oakland Athletics that would bring Dan Haren to the desert for several top prospects. The trade was warranted and given the success Haren has had with the Diamondbacks he was worth the price.
The trade along with a few other minor deals would leave the farm system depleted. This was not necessarily a problem since so many of the young homegrown talent were now in the Major Leagues. For the long-term benefit of the team the team needed to replenish the minor league system.
Last year the Arizona Diamondbacks did just that drafting nine of the first 95 picks in the amateur draft. By all accounts Byrnes and his staff did a tremendous job getting a lot of value and adding talent to the system that would pay dividends in the very near future.
It is always questionable whether these draft picks will ever make it to the major league levels but given scouting reports so far this draft class looked to be stocked with potential stars.
One of those early picks was outfielder AJ Pollock, an outfielder out of Notre Dame. Pollock was a first round draft pick by the Diamondbacks with the 17th overall selection. He signed a contract and was assigned to the South Bend Silver Hawks.
Pollock had a successful first year of professional baseball with 277 plate appearances where he hit .271 with 3 home runs and 22 RBI. He played in the Arizona Fall League where he turned heads with his plate approach and his fielding abilities. Pollock came into Spring Training this year and continued to impress in games and during drills.
The plan was to have him begin in High-A Visalia and possibly end the season in Double-A Mobile. All of these plans changed last week when Pollock was injured while making a sliding catch in the outfield.
During his slide he put his arm out to brace himself and the growth plate fractured in his elbow. Pollock underwent successful surgery on Friday and will begin his rehabilitation. With a surgery such as this the prognosis is good for 100 percent recovery.
The time table for his return to baseball is a minimum of three months meaning he will miss the first half of the season. At that point the Diamondbacks will assess his health and send him back to the minor leagues most likely Single-A at some level.
If everything goes as planned Pollock could end the season and perhaps see time again in the Arizona Fall League. This is yet another setback for the Diamondbacks farm system who has already lost top prospect Jarrod Parker to Tommy John surgery late last year.