Rays pitching prospect Brent Honeywell tears UCL, likely to undergo Tommy John surgery

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - The Tampa Bay Rays report top pitching prospect Brent Honeywell will need Tommy John surgery due to a torn ligament in his elbow. 

Honeywell was diagnosed with a torn UCL Friday morning. Health officials say it can take up to two years to fully recover from Tommy John surgery. He will miss the entire 2018 season and likely most of 2019 as well. 

Tommy John surgery, also known as ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction (or UCL), is used to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament inside the elbow. Click here for more health information. 

The Rays were counting on Honeywell starting after the team traded away Jake Odorizzi earlier this week. Honeywell was drafted 72nd overall in the 2014 MLB Draft. 

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He became the first pitcher to be named MVP of the Futures Game at Marlins Park during the 2017 All-Star festivities. He pitched two shutout innings to open the game. 

Before being drafted, Honeywell pitched at Walters State Community College for one year. He went 11–3 with a 2.81 ERA and 102 strikeouts for the Senators.

Honeywell made his professional debut with the Princeton Rays in 2014. By 2016 he was pitching for Montgomery Biscuits of the Class AA Southern League. The Rays quickly promoted him to Class AAA Durham.

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In 26 starts between Montgomery and Durham, Honeywell had 13-9 record with a 3.49 ERA and 172 strikeouts. He was ranked the 14th top prospect in all of baseball.

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