ANAHEIM, CALIF. – Another year, another top Twins prospect will miss valuable development time because of an injury.
Wander Javier, one the organization’s group of strong shortstop prospects, is scheduled to have season-ending surgery next week to repair a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder.
Noted surgeon Dr. James Andrews will perform the surgery on Thursday at his clinic in Florida, and Javier is expected to miss six to nine months.
Javier suffered the injury late last season and it flared up during spring training. The Twins took the conservative approach and tried rehabilitation. Javier was close to playing again when he suffered another setback, leading to the decision to have surgery.
The Twins signed Javier, 19, to a $4 million signing bonus in 2015. He batted .308 in 2016 for the Twins Dominican Summer League team, then .299 for rookie league Elizabethton in 2017.
With last year’s No. 1 overall pick, Royce Lewis, and Nick Gordon, the fifth overall pick in 2014, in the fold, the Twins felt good about their depth at short. It made it easier for them to trade another shortstop prospect, Jermaine Palacios, to Tampa Bay in exchange for Jake Odorizzi. Javier, in his young career, showed the ability to stick at short as well as offensive potential.
It also is the latest lengthy injury involving the top Twins prospect.
Outfielder Alex Kirilloff, their 2016 first round pick, missed all of 2017 because of Tommy John surgery. He’s back this year and, on Wednesday, hit his fifth homer of the season for class A Cedar Rapids.
Lefthander Tyler Jay, their first round pick in 2015, pitched only 11⅔ innings last season because of shoulder problems. He’s at Class AA Chattanooga, trying to reach the majors as a reliever.
Byron Buxton, the second overall pick in 2012, was limited to 31 games in 2014 because of a left wrist he sprained twice and a concussion he suffered when crashing into teammate Mike Kvasnicka while chasing a fly ball.
Miguel Sano, signed in 2009, missed the entire 2014 season because of Tommy John surgery.
• Outfielder Zack Granite (right shoulder) has been activated from the DL and has rejoined Class AAA Rochester.
• Lefthander Adalberto Mejia (blister) on Saturday will make the first of two starts at extended spring training. If all goes well, he will return to Rochester.