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Top prospect Parker to miss season after surgery

Oct 22, 2009, 4:55 PM EDT

So much for the promising start to Arizona’s offseason. They’ve learned that they’re saving about $5 million because Mark Reynolds just missed qualifying for arbitration and it looks like they’ll hold on to assistants Jerry DiPoto and Peter Woodfork with the Padres set to name Boston’s Jed Hoyer as their new GM. However, they received a big blow Thursday with the news that top prospect Jarrod Parker would undergo Tommy John surgery.
The procedure doesn’t come as a complete surprise, as there had been rumors that it would be necessary ever since the right-hander was shut down in early August. The Diamondbacks said two weeks ago that he had been making progress in his throwing program, but obviously, he had experienced a setback since.
Parker, 20, was the ninth overall pick in the 2007 draft. Before being shut down this year, he went 5-6 with a 3.14 ERA and a 95/38 K/BB ratio in 97 1/3 innings, most of them coming in Double-A. With a big fastball and a high-80s slider, the Diamondbacks view him as a potential ace. Ideally, this will be a mere one-year setback for him. Still, if he had stayed healthy, he was a definite threat to come up next June and perhaps contend for Rookie of the Year honors.

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