Royals Prospect Suffers Devastating Injury at Spring Training

Christian Chamberlain struck out 49 batters in 31.2 AA innings last year
Christian Chamberlain struck out 49 batters in 31.2 AA innings last year / Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

There is a lot of buzz and excitement around the Royals this season, but the team got bad news Tuesday when manager Matt Quataro announced promising left-handed pitching prospect Christian Chamberlain suffered a torn UCL.

Selected in the fourth round of the 2020 MLB Draft, the reliever quickly worked his way through the minor leagues and looked like he'd start the year at the AAA level.

It's not yet determined if Chamberlain will undergo Tommy John Surgery, though he'll miss the foreseeable future regardless.

Royals Injury News: LHP Prospect Christian Chamberlain Tears UCL

The Oregon State product looked well on his way to pushing for a major league appearance at some point this year, featuring a plus fastball and curveball with a developing slider.

In 20 appearances spanning 31.2 innings in AA last year, Chamberlain posted a 1.99 ERA with 49 strikeouts to 22 walks while not allowing a home run. He struggled to adjust to the AAA level, though did strike out 35 batters in 24.1 innings.

With a full offseason to prepare and harness his command, expectations were high for Chamberlain and this injury is an unfortunate circumstance.

The Royals overhauled the pitching staff in the offseason, bringing in a number of relievers in addition to starters Seth Lugo and Michael Wacha. Kansas City can afford to be patient with Chamberlain's development as a result and he can still factor into the organization's long-term plans.

Here's hoping for a full recovery and that Chamberlain returns with success to meet the great promise he's shown in his young career.

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