UPDATE: According to Josh Norris of Baseball America, IMG has no official statement on Aiken at this time. However, Norris spoke to the home plate umpire from today’s game who said that Aiken told his manager that he was dealing with “tightness” in his arm.
8:14 p.m. ET: Interesting news here from John Manuel of Baseball America, as 2014 No. 1 overall pick Brady Aiken left his first start with IMG Academy’s postgraduate team today after just 12 pitches due to an apparent injury. The 18-year-old was originally scheduled to be on a 40-pitch limit. No word yet on the reason for the early exit.
The Astros selected Aiken in last year’s draft, but the two sides failed to come to an agreement. There was reportedly an issue with Aiken’s elbow in a pre-signing physical, which caused the Astros to take their original $8.5 million offer off the table. They later offered $5 million, which tells you that whatever injury concerns the Astros had didn’t rule out a deal altogether, but two sides were unable to come to an agreement. The Astros will have the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft as compensation for failing to sign Aiken. Meanwhile, Aiken is eligible to be drafted again this year.
Many were expecting Aiken to be among the top picks again if healthy, so it would be a real shame to see him miss out on a big bonus only to suffer an injury. Stay tuned.