In recognition of the 2017 MLB Draft, which runs through Wednesday, we are including where and when each player was drafted. For complete coverage of the Draft -- which you can watch live in its entirety on MLB.com -- please visit Draft Central.ANAHEIM -- Yankees Minor League right-hander James Kaprielian
In recognition of the 2017 MLB Draft, which runs through Wednesday, we are including where and when each player was drafted. For complete coverage of the Draft -- which you can watch live in its entirety on MLB.com -- please visit Draft Central.
ANAHEIM -- Yankees Minor League right-hander James Kaprielian (No. 16 overall pick, 2015 Draft, UCLA) visited the big league club prior to Monday night's 5-3 win over the Angels at Angel Stadium.
Kaprielian is two months removed from Tommy John elbow surgery after missing almost the entire 2016 season with a right flexor strain.
Kaprielian, 23, is a native of nearby Irvine, Calif. He played for Beckman High School there, and he played his college ball up the 405 freeway at UCLA.
Kaprielian took a stroll on the field with manager Joe Girardi and watched the game from behind home plate with his agent.
"It was great to see him, and he's feeling great," Girardi said. "I looked at the range of motion that he has after two months, and it's outstanding. He looks great, and he's working really hard. Eventually he'll be throwing here again."
That won't be any time soon. The recovery time from Tommy John surgery is 12-18 months, with doctors suggesting the longer side for a full recovery and to avoid a recurrence. It may be months before Kaprielian even picks up a ball.
Kaprielian started three games for Class A Advanced Tampa last season until he was shut down. He started seven games in the Arizona Fall League, and the Yankees thought enough of his improvement that they brought him in to Major League camp this spring. But it was all for naught.
Kaprielian was scheduled to make his first start at advanced Class A this in April, but he experienced pain in the same part of his right elbow that caused him to miss time last season.
Kaprielian knows he's in it for the long haul, but he was glad to visit in the Yankees' clubhouse with some of the players he worked with during Spring Training.
He had the surgery close to home in Southern California, conducted by Dr. Neil ElAttrache, who Kaprielian saw for a second opinion.
"It's not what I wanted, but it's the card I've drawn," Kaprielian said. "I ultimately do believe at the end of this, this is going to help me down the line. And I think that's part of it -- keeping that positivity and that mindset, knowing things are going to be better on the other end."
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter.