No. 4 prospect Barriera has Tommy John surgery, per agent

April 29th, 2024

TORONTO -- Left-hander , the Blue Jays’ No. 4 overall prospect, underwent a combination Tommy John surgery and internal brace procedure on his throwing elbow, the club confirmed on Monday.

The procedure addressed a Grade 2 UCL tear, said Barriera’s agent, Nate Heisler, on social media. The Blue Jays expect Barriera to be sidelined for the rest of the year at least.

“Really unfortunate, obviously, for anyone -- especially a first-round pick,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said before Monday’s game against the Royals. “It seems to be the epidemic that we’re in, for whatever reason, but it sucks. It sucks for his development, losing a year, and it slows us down too.”

The 20-year-old Barriera was selected with the No. 23 overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, signing with Toronto for an above-slot bonus of $3,597,500. Two separate arm injuries disrupted the left-hander’s first pro season in 2023, causing his fastball velocity to sit in the 92-93 mph range rather than the expected 95-96 mph.

Barriera made just one start this year, allowing two hits and two earned runs in 1 1/3 innings for Single-A Dunedin. Overall in his pro career, Barriera has an 0-2 record with a 4.57 ERA in eight starts, with 26 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings.

The news of Barriera’s procedure comes three days after the Blue Jays announced that Ricky Tiedemann -- their No. 1 prospect and the top lefty prospect overall per MLB Pipeline -- had avoided ligament damage after being sidelined with an elbow issue. Tiedemann was diagnosed with ulnar nerve inflammation and he’s expected to get back to throwing soon.

The Blue Jays have yet to provide more information on right-hander Landen Maroudis, another top young pitcher currently sidelined due to a forearm injury. The club’s No. 12 prospect saw his velocity dip during his start for Single-A Dunedin on April 21, and he underwent an MRI after exiting in the third inning. Maroudis, 19, was Toronto’s fourth-round pick in last year’s Draft. He was off to a brilliant start to his pro career, posting an 0.84 ERA and 12 strikeouts over 10 2/3 innings.