Seven months after losing his right eye in a training accident, Phillies prospect Matt Imhof announces his retireme… pic.twitter.com/7SC29Kcjzi
— Siva Kodali (@kodali_siva) January 25, 2017
Former Philadelphia Phillies pitching prospect Matt Imhof is retiring from baseball at age 23 after losing his eye in a training accident.
Well, that’s something you don’t see every day.
The incident occurred at Brevard County Stadium in late June of 2016 when a piece of metal broke loose from a wall during a conventional stretching routine and hit him in the face, per ESPN.
The ricochet fractured his nose, broke two orbital bones and severely injured his right eye, which was surgically removed and replaced with a prosthetic one.
The southpaw was taken in the second round of the 2014 MLB June Amateur Draft from California Polytechnic State University and spent three seasons in the Phillies’ farm system.
In 43 total games (38 starts), Imhof went 13-10 with a 3.69 ERA and 147 strikeouts in 173 innings of work. In Class-A Clearwater, he went 12-8 with a 3.93 ERA.
Beyond those numbers, however, Imhof was a 6-foot-5 left-handed starter who could touch 95 mph with had two off-speed pitches in his arsenal, had an MLB ETA of 2017 and was projected by Bleacher Report to reach his ceiling of a No. 3 starter on a first-division team.
Tough to see a promising starter forced out of the game at such a young age due to a freak incident.