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Tommy John Surgery Strikes the Top of the 2015 Draft Class

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While one famous first round pick has already undergone Tommy John Surgery, who else is following him?

Dodgers first round pick Walker Buehler, another Tommy John victim.
Dodgers first round pick Walker Buehler, another Tommy John victim.
Victor Decolognon, Getty Images

It is now becoming such commonplace that missing 12-15 months is no longer a shock. I'm talking about Tommy John Surgery of course. More and more players are undergoing ligament replacement surgeries on their elbows knowing that a full season, sometimes two or more, will be lost to rehab. While some try the rest and rehab route when an elbow goes wonky, more often than not they end up just delaying the inevitable trip to the operating table.

One of the 42 first round picks is already on his way back from the operation, Indians left hander Brady Aiken. Thousands upon thousands of words have been spilled on the Aiken situation so I won't re-hash it all here. Now another first round pick has received word that they too will have to go under the knife. Former Vanderbilt rotation anchor Walker Buehler, the 24th overall selection by the Los Angeles Dodgers, will need to have the surgery.

According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, an elbow issue cropped up and delayed Buehler's signing until the last day. The injury resulted in Buehler receiving a little over $314,000 less than the slot recommendation for the 24th overall pick.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">walker buehler, dodgers top pick, is said to have elbow issue.</p>&mdash; Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) <a href="https://twitter.com/JonHeymanCBS/status/622134138557046784">July 17, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Walker buehler, dodgers No. [1] pick, needs tommy john surgery, sources say.</p>&mdash; Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) <a href="https://twitter.com/JonHeymanCBS/status/622163198251278336">July 17, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Word came out later in the day Friday that one of the top catching prospects in the draft would also be getting Tommy John, catcher Chris Betts. The Rays took a flier on Betts as he fell to the 52nd overall pick at the beginning of the second round. They even went $324,000 over slot to sign him to a deal. The reason for his fall was summed up by Keith Law -

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Rumored predraft too - he&#39;d missed a few weeks with an elbow issue - which is why he slipped to the second round. <a href="https://t.co/gfhXtJhRzY">https://t.co/gfhXtJhRzY</a></p>&mdash; keithlaw (@keithlaw) <a href="https://twitter.com/keithlaw/status/622396182262849536">July 18, 2015</a></blockquote>

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The Rays went through their usual routines before signing Betts and his physical showed that he would need Tommy John to correct ligament damage in his right elbow. MLB.com's Bill Chastain was the first to tweet the news.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/rays?src=hash">#rays</a> signee Betts to have Tommy John surgery</p>&mdash; Bill Chastain (@wwchastain) <a href="https://twitter.com/wwchastain/status/622390033119473664">July 18, 2015</a></blockquote>

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