New York Yankees pitching prospect James Kaprielian will have Tommy John surgery on his injured elbow next week and will miss the remainder of the season.
Kaprielian was placed on the minor league disabled list last week after experiencing pain in his elbow. The right-hander underwent tests last week and ultimately decided to undergo the surgery; it will be performed next Tuesday by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who is based in Los Angeles.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Thursday that the organization thinks Kaprielian could miss anywhere from 14 to 16 months, meaning he would not return to pitching until midway through the 2018 season.
"It is definitely not what we wanted," Girardi said. "Our hope was he could pitch this whole year and really make some strides in being a pitcher for us. That is not going to happen. We are all going to have to deal with this together and get him back on the mound at some point next year."
Kaprielian, 23, was a first-round draft pick in 2015 and is considered the Yankees' top pitching prospect. He recently was rated by ESPN's Keith Law as New York's fourth-best prospect and the No. 28 overall prospect in baseball.
Kaprielian's 2016 season was cut short on April 21 after his third start at Class A Tampa, because of a strained right flexor tendon. He returned to pitch in the Arizona Fall League and went 2-3 with a 4.33 ERA in seven starts, striking out 26 in 27 innings.
Kaprielian was limited to one major league spring training appearance, striking out three in two scoreless innings against Toronto on March 16. He was assigned to Class A Tampa again for the start of this season.
ESPN's Andrew Marchand and The Associated Press contributed to this report.