New York Mets Top Prospect Fernando Martinez Suffers A Setback

Phil HoopsCorrespondent IFebruary 6, 2009

With Spring training still a few weeks away, the Mets top prospect, Fernando Martinez, is already injured.

Following his clutch home run in the Caribbean Baseball World Series, Martinez began to feel elbow discomfort. While he insisted it was nothing, the Mets played it safe and sent Martinez back to New York to be evaluated by team doctors.

David Lennon is now reporting that team doctors have found that Martinez suffered an elbow strain, and have recommend that he take three weeks off before resuming play.

That in itself is not all that terrible, however as RotoWorld points out that the elbow strain could lead to the need for Martinez to undergo Tommy John surgery.

Barring no setbacks, the recovery time for the surgery would be somewhere around six months. While that sounds all well in good, in reality the recovery time will probably be a couple months longer than expected.

Martinez, who signed with the Mets at age 16, instantly became the organization’s top prospect. Every year, however he seems to breakdown with injuries. Last season, though, he managed to play in 86 games at the Double A level and hit for a respectable .287 average with eight home runs.

The only upside to this news is that Martinez will be able to play in this upcoming season, and can push the surgery off until next offseason.

Either way this is obviously very discouraging news for such a talented young player, who has already gone through numerous injuries.

The most important thing for Mets fans to do is to not give up faith in the young prospect, as he is only 20 years old and has time to rebound from his injuries.

Just remember how injury prone Jose Reyes was in his early years. And, now all these years later Reyes has become one of the top stars in all of baseball.

There is not a doubt in my mind that we will see Martinez roam the outfield at Citi Field, however my hunch is it will not be this season.