Wesely shut down after partially torn UCL

Angels' 11th round pick in 2013 will undergo Tommy John surgery in Anaheim

Wesely shut down after partially torn UCL

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Angels pitching prospect Jonah Wesely knew something was wrong.

Although the results were good -- a 2.97 ERA and 43 strikeouts in 30 1/3 innings for Class A Burlington -- and the fastball velocity was still in the 90s, Wesely's arm just didn't feel the same.

"The last four to six weeks, pretty much all of June, my day after soreness was really, really bad," Wesely said. "I was just trying to get through it.… I wouldn't feel good playing catch, but in-game pitching it wouldn't really cause me any pain."

As the pain persisted, the southpaw knew he had to alert someone and after traveling to the Angels facilities in Arizona, the worst was confirmed. Wesely had a partially torn UCL and would need Tommy John surgery.

"My heart dropped," Wesely said. "I wanted to break down crying, not that I'm a super emotional guy, but I was super upset. That's a pitcher's worst nightmare. There are worse things that can happen in life, but that hit me hard."

While the words "Tommy John" hit every pitcher hard, they especially hit Wesely because of how well he was throwing the ball.

The 20-year old was in the middle of his best season and hoped the pain was something minor.

"I never had a dramatic pop or anything, but my UCL was partially torn and I think it's been like that for a long time," Wesely said. "From what I understand, I had a lot of scar tissue that was blocking it, and that started to break down the last month or so."

Wesely, the Angels 11th round selection from the 2013 Draft, will have surgery on Thursday in Anaheim and will then spend the next 12 months rehabbing in Arizona.

Tommy John injuries require extensive rehab that can be taxing both physically and mentally, but Wesely has some experience in that department, experience he believes will help him along the way.

Coming out of high school Wesely had a groin injury that caused him to miss a pair of starts during his senior season and sidelined him for the 2013 Arizona League.

After clearing the mental hurdles involved with that rehab, Wesely knows he can get through it again.

"I feel like there's two ways to look at every obstacle: grow from it and improve life or let it eat away at you and become a negative thing" Wesely said. "I'm going to let this help me out and learn how to stay healthy in the future and I'm going to take the next 12 months to rehab and get my elbow together and get my body in the best shape possible so that I can get big league dirt on my cleats someday."

William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.