Caleb Ferguson had a big time decision to make, and he did so confidently.
The hard-throwing lefthanded pitcher who just graduated from West Jefferson High School had to decide whether or not to accept a college scholarship offer from West Virginia University or sign a professional contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who selected him last month in the 38th round of the MLB draft.
After thinking it over and talking with his family, Ferguson decided to pursue his life-long dream of playing pro baseball and has signed a contract with the Dodgers.
Ferguson announced his attention via Twitter earlier this month.
“Blessed beyond belief!! Proud to say I have signed a professional contract to play with the LA Dodgers” was the tweet he sent out to his followers.
The 6-foot, 3-inch 215 pound Ferguson had Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow back in late May. He suffered the injury early in the season and had a promising senior year cut short.
Tommy John Surgery, named after a former major leaguer is known in the medical world as ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) reconstruction. The procedure replaces the ulnar collateral ligament in the elbow with a tendon from elsewhere in the body. The procedure is common among collegiate and professional athletes in several sports, but is most prevalent in baseball.
The surgery, first performed in 1974, has grown in popularity and many players have returned to have successful careers after it. Logan White, the Dodgers vice president of amateur scouting and drafting said there is no longer a worry about athletes who have had the surgery.
“It’s definitely more of a trend, with the travel ball and the way these kids are playing all year round. I think it’s going to continue to be more common,” White said in a recent release.
Ferguson, 18, has reported to the Dodgers facilities in Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Ariz. where he will continue to rehab his surgically repaired elbow.
Typical recovery time on Tommy John Surgery is right around a year.
Chris Miles can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.