Tigers right-hander Alex Faedo will undergo UCL surgery later this month, as per a statement released by the team. As per the usual timeline for Tommy John procedures, Faedo will miss the entire 2021 season but should be ready by Opening Day 2022.
Faedo has a 3.96 ERA, 4.07 K/BB rate, and 9.3 K/9 over 236 1/3 innings in Detroit’s farm system, moving from high-A ball to Double-A in 2018 and then spending all of 2019 with Double-A Erie. Any thought that Faedo could skip Triple-A and make his Major League debut in 2020 was first hampered when a positive COVID-19 diagnosis kept him out of Summer Camp, and then Faedo was shut down due to a forearm strain in August.
The 18th overall pick of the 2017 draft, Faedo drew some top-60 prospect attention in analyst rankings but his first pro season somewhat lowered his stock. MLB Pipeline’s scouting report explains that Faedo had a drop in fastball velocity and his slider (arguably his best pitch) lost effectiveness, though both pitches looked better during the 2019 season.
Both MLB Pipeline and Baseball America ranked Faedo as the tenth-best prospect in a pitching-heavy Tigers farm system. The development of such young arms as Matt Manning, Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal, Joey Wentz, and Faedo has been a key element of Detroit’s rebuilding process, and Mize and Skubal both made their MLB debuts this past season. Given Faedo’s diagnosis, there is bound to be renewed concern over Manning, who was also shut down with a forearm strain over the summer. At last word back in October, however, Manning had recovered.