June 24, 2024

Prospect David McCabe of the Atlanta Braves will be out indefinitely due to Tommy John surgery on his right throwing elbow.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Justin Toscano broke the story first. The news has not been verified by the team.

McCabe, 23, was selected by Atlanta in the fourth round of the 2022 MLB Draft as a UNC-Charlotte student. McCabe batted while spending his 2023 season in the lower minors.276 in 123 games with 23 home runs and 113 strikeouts.

Despite being primarily a first baseman during his collegiate career, McCabe, who is registered as a third baseman, alternated between first and third base. Having ranked as our ninth prospect in our organizational talent rankings, we talked about McCabe’s potential as a first base and designated hitter as early as 2025.

During his tenure with Salt River in October of last year, McCabe played in the Arizona Fall League, where he batted.278 in 21 games but did not hit a home run.

McCabe “felt something in his elbow” while playing catch this offseason, according to Toscano, and ultimately had surgery in the first part of February.

The exact moment McCabe will return to gameplay is unknown at this point. Pitchers are typically advised to recover in 12 to 18 months, while position players—especially those who can play a less demanding defensive position like first base—often see far quicker returns to game action.
Position players can return to the field sooner following Tommy John surgery, according to a 2018 National Institutes of Health study. However, 48% of the players in the study switched to a less demanding defensive position after recovering.

It’s likely that McCabe’s injury expedites his transition to first base given the doubts surrounding his defensive fit at third base.

David McCabe - Baseball - Charlotte Athletics

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