Reggie Crawford, UConn’s star pitcher and first baseman and one of the top prospects in all of college baseball, will likely miss the entire 2022 season after suffering a left elbow injury last weekend. Crawford will likely require Tommy John Surgery, which usually takes 12-18 to rehab from.
At this time, Crawford has not undergone surgery and is still consulting with doctors on next steps according to the Hartford Courant’s Dom Amore. Kendall Rogers of D1 Baseball first reported the news Friday night.
According to Amore, Crawford injured his elbow during the Huskies’ final fall scrimmage at Elliot Ballpark last week, hearing a pop in his elbow after throwing a pitch and eventually coming out of the game.
SCOOP: Crushing news for @UConnBSB, as star LHP/1B and our No. 4 college prospect for the 2022 #MLBDraft, Reggie Crawford, recently suffered what is believed to be a season-ending arm injury. Tommy John is expected. Horrible news for Reggie and #UConn. Such a special talent.— Kendall Rogers (@KendallRogers) October 23, 2021
Crawford had been ramping up his workload on the mound this fall after making waves in the Cape Cod League and USA Baseball Collegiate team this past summer, touching 100 miles per hour routinely and establishing himself as one of the best pitching prospects in college baseball. Crawford has played primarily first base at UConn but did throw eight innings and rack up 17 strikeouts with the Huskies last spring.
Along with being one of college baseball’s elite pitching prospects, Crawford figured to be the Huskies’ best hitter this season after hitting .309 with 14 home runs last season. While Crawford could serve as DH-only as he rehabs from likely inevitable Tommy John surgery, Penders told Amore that Crawford will likely be held out of this season entirely to prepare for the MLB Draft.
“I‘m sure he has that desire, but it’s my job to protect him,” Penders said. “I can’t imagine a scenario where we would entertain that.”
With Crawford out, the Huskies likely lose a great pitcher and their best power bat for the 2022 season. While UConn should still be able to contend for the Big East conference title this spring, the loss of Crawford will make another NCAA Tournament run more difficult.