Cubs Pitching Prospect Ben Leeper’s Season is Over
This is just such a gut punch. The Cubs may be able to weather it all right, but you feel it so much for the player.
Chicago Cubs relief prospect Ben Leeper has been through Tommy John surgery twice before, having come back the second time after the 2020 MLB Draft (during which he was not drafted, and was instead signed by the Cubs thereafter). He was a breakout relief prospect for the organization in 2021, and was on the radar as a possible call-up sometime this year from Triple-A Iowa.
Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen:
Leeper, 25, was in big league camp this spring, but had not yet appeared with the Iowa Cubs. The specifics of his injury and surgery aren’t shared there in his Instagram post, but the mention of 2024 as a return – and the whole “new arm” thing – means that it’s a serious surgery. Having already had Tommy John twice, if that’s what this is again, we know that returning from a third is a very rare thing. It’s not impossible – reliever Johnny Venters pulled it off a few years ago, and did return to have at least one very good relief season – but it’s not something you can count on.
Which will make it all the more compelling and impressive when Leeper gets back on the mound sometime next year. All the best to him in the rehab process.