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Yankees’ top pitching prospect Kaprielian to have Tommy John surgery

Minor League Baseball: Arizona Fall League-Scottsdale Scorpions at Mesa Solar Sox Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Yankees’ pitching prospect James Kaprielian will be having Tommy John surgery on Tuesday, per a team announcement on Twitter.

The Yankees said Dr. Neal ElAttrache will perform the surgery on the right-hander, who is ranked as the team’s No. 6 overall prospect and No. 1 pitching prospect, according to MLB.com. Kaprielian is also ranked 74th on the Top 100 Prospects list by MLB.com.

The 23-year-old Kaprielian was drafted 16th overall in the 2015 MLB Draft after playing for UCLA, which he helped win a College World Series championship in 2013 as a reliever. He was the highest drafted college pitcher in New York’s history.

Kaprielian got as high Advanced SIngle-A Tampa, where he posted a 2-1 record, a 1.50 ERA, a 0.61 WHIP and 22 strikeouts in three starts last year before being sidelined with a strained flexor muscle in his forearm. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound Kaprielian also played the end of his 2016 season in the Arizona Fall League , where he struggled in seven starts, going 2-3 with a 4.33 ERA.

And with this latest injury, Kaprielian will now have to prove he can stay healthy when he recovers from surgery. Until then, the Yankees will have to keep tabs on the next best pitchers in their farm system in lefty Justus Sheffield and righty Chance Adams, who are both playing in Double-A Trenton.