Chicago White Sox prospect Zack Burdi has a ligament tear in his right elbow and is set to undergo Tommy John surgery, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. Pitching for White Sox Triple-A affiliate in Charlotte, Burdi left the game on July 10 with arm discomfort and had not pitched since. The 2016 first-round pick ranks 10th on Chicago's top prospect list, according to MLB Pipeline.
Burdi, whose fastball sits in the 95-100 range, reached Triple-A as a first-year pro last season. Yet amidst a full-scale rebuild occurring over the past seven months in Chicago, Burdi's development has been slowed significantly. The right-hander has thrown 33.1 innings this season for Charlotte with an impressive 13.8 K/9 and just two home runs allowed. The Illinois-native's ERA sits at an uninspiring 4.05, but his 2.88 FIP indicates Burdi has pitched better than his numbers reflect.
As for the White Sox, the injury is a big blow to one of the most exciting arms in the pitching-heavy organization. However, Burdi's recovery is on track with Chicago's competitive window, which could open 2019 at the earliest if prospects like Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito, and/or Reynaldo Lopez experience early success in the majors. With six full years of team control left, Burdi will still fit into the team's future plans, albeit a few years behind where they'd hoped.